• Paul Fingleton

#Agenda2018: Turning the challenge of Brexit to an opportunity for ICT

Opportunities for Ireland’s ICT Sector Top Agenda at British Irish Chamber of Commerce Seminar

The challenges and opportunities presented to the Irish ICT sector as a consequence of Brexit were the subjects of discussion at this morning’s “#Agenda2018 – Business, Politics and Brexit” seminar hosted by the British Irish Chamber of Commerce in association with KPMG and Ulster Bank in the InterContinental Hotel in Dublin.

The event presented the opportunity for business leaders, ICT experts and policy makers from both sides of the Irish Sea to set the agenda as to how Ireland can win the war on talent within the sector as a result of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, with particular need to enhance the competitiveness of the taxation system. Participants also outlined the opportunities of developing a UK-Ireland Tech Corridor post-Brexit.

With the Irish ICT sector playing a critical role in fuelling employment growth in recent years, there is an urgent need to turn the challenge of Brexit into an opportunity for tech businesses of all sizes. Colm Lyon, CEO and Founder of Fire revealed how his fintech success story is being increased impacted by external developments such as Brexit and regulatory change. This was followed by two panel discussions – one all-female panel on attracting talent into the Irish ICT sector and another on how best to create a Tech Corridor across the Irish Sea.

Addressing the event, John McGrane, Director-General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, said: “In recent years, Dublin’s ‘Silicon Docks’ has become the centre of Ireland’s economic success story and is now home to more than 1,200 start-ups and 250 global tech companies. Although a significant challenge, Brexit opens up new opportunities for the Irish tech sector to flourish. This morning’s discussions outlined how ICT companies can position themselves for long-term growth.”


“Brexit presents a significant barrier for tech firms seeking to scale-up and succeed. Today’s #Agenda2018 seminar puts an important spotlight on this strong growth sector and how the industry can turn the challenge of Brexit into an opportunity.

“Given the ICT sector in Ireland is global by its very nature, we must be global in our approach. That is why the British Irish Chamber of Commerce ICT Committee have called for the creation of a Technology Ambassador to represent the Irish tech sector in Silicon Valley and establish new a National ICT Hub centred in Dublin but with satellite hubs in the south, west, northwest and the midlands.”

- Jeanne Kelly, Chair of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce ICT Committee


In discussing the need to win the war on talent Olivia Buckley, Communications Director at the Irish Tax Institute, stated: “The combination of high tax rates and low entry into the high rates means that the personal tax bill of an Irish employee can rise quickly as they earn more money. We risk pricing ourselves out of the talent market, one of the key pillars upon which a successful economy must be built. Talent and innovation will decide much of our future economic journey - we’ve got to make sure the strategy is right.”

To watch the event online, please see: http://www.britishirishchamber.com/livestream/.