Brexit ‘flexibility’, oil shortages and Simon Carswell on the high seas

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from ‘The Irish Times’ business desk

Simon Carswell joins the crew of Irish fishing vessel 'Eblana' in the Irish Sea and speaks to skipper John Lynch about the impact a hard Brexit would have on him and other Irish fishermen. Video: Bryan O'Brien


It is time for the Government to show some ‘flexibility’ on the Brexit backstop issue if a hard Border is to be prevented, according to Niall FitzGerald, the Irish former head of Unilever. Speaking in Dublin, the UK resident also tells Mark Paul that Theresa May “has no interest in business” and “doesn’t understand it”.

Still on Brexit, Barry O’Halloran reports that it threatens to leave the Republic in breach of EU rules governing the amount of oil the State must keep in reserve in case of shortages. The problem lies in the storage of our oil in the North and Wales, which will no longer be in the EU after the UK departs the union.

And Simon Carswell takes to the Brexit high seas with a Howth, Co Dublin fisherman this week, learning along the way that “fish don’t do borders”. A hard Brexit, he hears, would “decimate” the Irish fishing industry.

Barry has news of a ¤500,000 legal bill that could be facing Nama after the State agency apologised in court on Thursday to developers Michael and John O’Flynn. The case arose after the unlawful leak of information on the O’Flynns’ business by a former Nama official.

It also emerged on Thursday that the Commission of Investigation into Nama’s controversial sale of its Project Eagle portfolio in the North has asked the Government for a six-month extension for the project.

Charlie Taylor has details of a Nasdaq-listed cannabis grower that plans to establish an Irish subsidiary early next year as it looks to get involved in the European medical marijuana market. The subsidiary will be Las Vegas-headquartered MJ Holdings’s European headquarters.

In his economics column, John FitzGerald says that while he doesn’t generally believe in the idea of tying a particular tax to a specific use, he thinks it might just be necessary in the case of a carbon tax.

Caveat this week considers the idea of broadcasting regulation, asking if the time has come for Broadcasting Authority of Ireland Michael O’Keeffe to seek greater regulatory teeth so that influential media owners can be kept in check.

This week’s Business Interview is Stephen Kavanagh, who is soon to depart as chief executive of Aer Lingus. The self-confessed numbers man tells Ciarán Hancock that his single biggest career moment was a 1988 job as a check-in agent, which forced him out of his shell. He also reveals that the airline is planning to reintroduce business class services on its busiest short-haul routes in Europe next year, having eliminated them in 2002.

In our World of Work section, Olive Keogh looks at the idea of reverse mentoring, whereby younger employees mentor their more experienced counterparts in the workplace. It’s worth asking ourselves, she suggests, if we really know how people younger or older than us might think.

In the same section, David Gordon of Dublin Business School considers the rise in popularity of remote working.

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