SIPTU Manufacturing Division Organiser, Gerry McCormack said: “Currently around 16% of goods manufactured in the Republic of Ireland are exported to the UK. This figure rises significantly in the agriculture, food and drink sectors.“We had warned that a Brexit vote would provoke a period of dangerous uncertainty in terms of trade between the two States. That is the reality we now face. “It is imperative that the Government immediately begins discussions on a bilateral and EU level that are aimed at protecting the interests of the manufacturing sector in Ireland in light of the result of the UK vote.” Gerry McCormack added: “In the short-term, manufacturing in Ireland faces the problem of the devaluation in Sterling. This will make Irish exports more expensive for British consumers. In the medium and longer-term, the new relationship that will be negotiated between the EU and UK will have a major impact on manufacturing in Ireland. “However, the sector can overcome these challenges with adequate support. Always, in such periods of crisis some unscrupulous employers will perceive an opportunity to attack workers’ wages and conditions. Our members will not accept such attacks and will work collectively to ensure that workers in Ireland, north and south, do not become victims of the British vote to leave the EU.”