The Anglo Irish Trade Agreement to bring a new era of relations and economic development between Ireland and Britain.

Taoiseach Seán Lemass and British Prime Minister Harold Wilson sign the Anglo Irish Trade Agreement in December 1965 as a move towards free trade between the two countries.

The agreement was signed at 10 Downing Street and will come into effect from 1 July 1966.

The agreement stabilised Anglo Irish trading relations and was seen as a stepping stone to preparing Ireland for membership of the European Common Market.

Speaking to RTÉ News, the Taoiseach said,

Eventually, there will be no restriction on trade of any sort.

Under the terms of the agreement, all tariffs on Irish exports to Britain will be removed and all tariffs on British imports to Ireland will be removed in a gradual process over a period of ten years.

Seán Lemass outlines how the new agreement will impact on various agricultural sectors and provides an assurance to farmers that they will have full access to British markets. From an industrial perspective, the removal of tariffs offers Ireland the opportunity for expansion of trade.

I think this is a prelude to another major breakthrough in Irish industrial expansion.

The agreement is open to review depending on how the new arrangements have affected both countries.

Seán Lemass believes that the agreement provides the necessary safeguards and obligations are in place for it to be a success and that the transition to free trade will be as painless as possible.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 14 December 1965. The reporter is RJ Dowling.