"We want a slow, organised withdrawal" - Jobs minister hopes for longer Brexit process

Mary Mitchell O'Connor insists the government is prepared for UK withdrawal

Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Brexit, Ireland, jobs, foreign direct investment, UK, EU, trade missions, IDA,

Mary Mitchell-O'Connor | File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

The Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor says she is hoping a British exit from the European Union will take two years.

The fallout from a vote last week for the UK to leave the EU are still being felt.

The Dáil is meeting later to discuss Ireland's next move, while the British Chancellor George Osbourne is working to calm market fears.

"At the moment, time is our ally and we will be making sure we get the very best deal for Ireland", Minister O'Connor told Newstalk Breakfast.

But she also cautions: "Our exporters and our businesses are quite worried."

"We want a slow, organised withdrawal and obviously during that period of time we will be negotiating hard for Ireland."

The minister says she met with Enterprise Ireland, the IDA, as well as ISME, IBEC and other interest groups on Friday.

"All of them want a slow withdrawal of the UK form the EU", she says.

"There is uncertainty in the markets, but there is a contingency plan and we're working our way through this."

She says they will now be making bigger pushes in the British market.

"it is difficult and it's difficult to gaze into that crystal ball and to see what's going to happen - but...all of this has been taken into account when we were publishing the summer statement."

Asked if she thought that Ireland could get additional direct foreign investment as a result of the Brexit, Minister O'Connor replied: "In a state of chaos, there are also opportunities."