Business Leaders urge Ireland’s Europe Minister to ensure that there must be no border across or between these islands
Leaders from Northern Ireland’s retail and manufacturing industries met with Helen McEntee TD, the Irish Minister of State for European Affairs, and pressed her to ensure that there is no border across or between these islands as a result of Brexit.
As the UK negotiates its exit from the EU and its future relationship, there is concern in business that the two industries, which will be most impacted by any customs or border restrictions, would be significantly damaged.
Both business organisations have called for Michel Barnier to meet with a delegation of the broader business community.
Stephen Kelly, CEO of Manufacturing NI, said: “GB is the largest external market and the source of most of our imports for our firms; however more of our businesses trade cross border and into rest of the EU than trade with Britain.
“We must ensure that as the UK leaves the EU, that there is no access restrictions to either market that would add cost and complexity and as a result damage NI as a place to do business.
“Working with colleagues from across the local business community we will be seeking a meeting with Michel Barnier to ensure that our voice is heard in this process.
Glyn Roberts, CEO of Retail NI said: “Our retail industry takes supply from across these islands and cannot afford to add any additional costs onto consumers who are already dealing with a steep rise in prices since the EU Referendum. Additionally, there is a risk that cross-border shoppers could fall victim to customs rules on their purchases unless the UK and the EU agree a new relationship.
“We also need to see a new more tolerant debate around Brexit, which focuses on realistic solutions, rather than problems.”
“With no devolved government in place to give us a voice in the Brexit negotiations, the broader business community needs to step forward and show leadership”