Employers' group Ibec and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have issued a joint call to the UK and Irish governments, along with the devolved administration in Northern Ireland, to work together and co-ordinate their efforts in emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a letter to the Taoiseach as well as Northern Ireland's First and Deputy First Ministers, Ibec CEO Danny McCoy and CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn said such co-ordination, particularly around economic revival, will provide the best chance of protecting public health and restoring prosperity.

The two business leaders said they have been working through one of the most challenging periods for business that they can recall.

But they added that they have every confidence that the economies north and south will recover over time.

"As the coming weeks unfold, we all hope to make great progress with efforts to both suppress the virus and start planning for that much needed economic reboot," they said.

"The business community is acutely aware of the deep economic impact on business and livelihoods that the measures to contain Covid-19 have had across these islands."


Read more: UK hauliers seek agreement over entry declarations


They said among the most immediate concerns is the integrated supply chains for essential goods like medicines and agri-food.

"To support these supply chains and ensure that the measures taken in the recovery phase, help to sustain the wide range of business activity between the two jurisdictions we will need the highest level of co-operation, co-ordination and joined-up thinking," they said.

"A return to daily movement of workers and goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland (and across the two islands) will depend on the easing of current restrictions and alignment with medical advice."

Regular communication between experts on both sides of the island on restart plans will be needed to "support and re-energise" the strong economic linkages, they claimed.

"Indeed, it would also be helpful and worthwhile for parallel conversations to take place between the two islands, with the North/South Ministerial Council along with the British-Irish Council providing appropriate frameworks for such discussions," they wrote.