The Lord Mayor of Cork has called on the US authorities to sanction transatlantic flights from Cork in the wake of the Brexit vote.
Councillor Des Cahill (FG) spoke last night as he revealed plans to meet with Cork Chamber and IDA Ireland, over the coming days, to ensure the region was poised to benefit from Brexit.
Mr Cahill said securing the proposed Cork-to-Boston flights and the deepening of Irish-US links were now more important than ever, given the UK’s decision, last week, to leave the EU.
“The Open Skies Agreement between the US and Europe must be honoured, now more than ever,” he said. “The agreement between the two continents is clear. The permission by the Americans is not only required, it is part of US/Europe policy.”
Two months after the US department of transportation flagged its intention to give a foreign-carrier permit to Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary, NAI, a final decision is still awaited.
Mr Cahill said that while Brexit was bad for Europe, it was an opportunity for Cork City to attract companies leaving the UK.
“Cork City has large sites, with planning permission, and developers ready-to-go, at Anderson’s Quay, South Terrace, Sullivan’s Quay, and in the docklands, along with some recently completed, premium-quality office blocks,” he said.
“Some of the world’s leading companies are already located in Cork, because they recognise the fantastic blend of talent coming out of our third-level institutions and the blend of lifestyle available on our doorstep.”
He said he would discuss with chamber representatives how they could, with the help of IDA Ireland, capitalise on the opportunities provided by Brexit.
There have been reports that several international banks, and large financial-services companies, based in the City of London have considered relocating to EU countries, including Ireland and Germany, in the wake of Brexit.
Mr Cahill said Cork should be prepared to capitalise. “We have a global reputation as a base for pharmaceuticals, biotech, tech and software industries,” he said.
“We have a strong financial-services presence here, too, with companies like Citco and Clearstream based here.
“So, it would not be a leap of faith for other big players to relocate here.”