Some of the UK and Ireland’s foremost voices on Brexit will gather in Belfast this autumn to address business leaders at an event hosted by the Institute of Directors Northern Ireland (IoD NI). 

Taking place in the wake of next month’s crucial EU Summit, the lunch time event on 8th November at The Merchant Hotel, entitled Connect and Influence: Focus on Brexit is sponsored by BDO NI and Carson McDowell.

A panel discussion will feature speakers including Tony Connelly, Europe Editor for RTE News and Allie Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy at the IoD.

Kirsty McManus, National Director, IoD NI said: 

“As negotiations ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU intensify, the value of remaining well-informed of ongoing developments in the Brexit debate becomes even greater.

“October’s EU Summit has long stood as the target for final agreement on a withdrawal deal to be made so its importance is plain to see.

“Whether a deal is made or not, questions will no doubt remain, and we look forward to joining with members and their guests as we hear insights from our panellists at November’s Connect and Influence event.”

Tony Connelly has been covering EU and European Affairs from Brussels since 2001. He has reported extensively on the period before and after the Brexit referendum, and before that covered the European refugee crisis, the Greek debt situation, the Irish bail-out and the financial crisis dating back to 2008.

One of the most sought-after commentators on Brexit, Allie Renison represents the voice of IoD members on EU policy matters to Westminster, Whitehall, and European institutions. She acts as link between business and Government on increasing international trade and provides advocacy for the IoD on a range of regulatory issues in Brussels.

Maybeth Shaw, Tax Partner, BDO NI commented:

As the Brexit negotiations enter a critical phase, it is important for businesses to have as much clarity to aid our understanding about what a future deal could look like. This event affords an opportunity to hear from some of the best-informed thinkers on the Brexit debate and will provide a welcome update on the state of play in negotiations in the weeks following October’s EU Summit.”

Richard Gray, Partner at Carson McDowell, said:

“With the UK’s exit from the EU little more than six months away, businesses in Northern Ireland and across the UK have had enough of simply asking for more clarity on what happens next. Many of our clients, particularly those who operate cross border businesses, are extremely worried by the ongoing uncertainty and legal implications of Brexit.

“As businesses make preparations for what we all hope will be a smooth transition, concerns over core issues like trade, investment, employment law and regulation remain unanswered, so the insights provided by the expert panellists at Connect and Influence could prove to be invaluable.”

For more information, or to make a booking, contact 028 9068 3224 or visit