On 21 March 2018, as the UK and the European Union reach a critical juncture in the Brexit negotiations, representatives from the engineering, manufacturing, science, and technology communities in Northern Ireland debated the potential impact of Brexit on the Irish border at a workshop and conference in Belfast.
Hosted by the IET’s Engineering Policy Group for Northern Ireland, the event examined a range of challenges and opportunities that will stem from the UK’s withdrawal from the Customs Union and the Single Market.
The four main speakers examined detailed aspects of the situation, including the current political context, how Brexit could impact on engineering and manufacturing, the likely effect within the border region itself and the possibilities of setting up a “smart border”. These issues were considered by 50 delegates at the all-day event.
There was press coverage of the proceedings from two local radio stations, Radio Ulster and Radio Foyle, while the Radio 4 Today programme covered it some days later. A report of the proceedings is available below, produced via a “just in time” reporting system using iPads at individual discussion tables along with a presentation showing the days proceedings.