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NI business group urges UK, EU to end Brexit uncertainty


The Northern Ireland Business Brexit Working Group was formed in 2019 to highlight the concerns of Northern Ireland business

The Northern Ireland Business Brexit Working Group issued a plea to the UK Government and the EU to end the uncertainty for business

The group called for collective work to find immediate solutions to trade friction ahead of this week’s meetings of the Specialised Committee and Joint Committee on the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Northern Ireland Business Brexit Working Group was formed in December 2019 in response to the passage of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to highlight the concerns of the over 85% of Northern Ireland business that it represents.

A spokesman for the group said: We cannot afford another missed opportunity at the Joint Committee as we saw earlier in the year.

We continue to hear that the EU and UK are committed to their assertion in the preamble to the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol that they are ‘determined that the application of this Protocol should impact as little as possible on the everyday life of communities in both Ireland and Northern Ireland’, but it undoubtedly is having an impact and will increasingly do so as more stringent requirements come in from October.

Despite being confident that there is a solution ahead, the spokesperson said that Northern Irish business needs to see that our faith in this process is justified by the delivery of solutions. We want to ensure that trading arrangements under the Protocol can work to benefit business and communities across Northern Ireland, now and in the future.

The business community continues to make its best endeavours to deliver our responsibilities under the new trading arrangements. For many businesses the Protocol has allowed trade flows to continue and, without it, farming and agri-food businesses, in particular, throughout Ireland would be much worse off financially, but we need the EU and UK Government to work with us – and with each other – to deliver on their commitments, the spokesperson said. We continue to make representations and put forward constructive solutions, so we now need a clear and unequivocal sign from both sides to show our efforts and faith have been warranted.

The Joint Committee is due to meet this week on 9 June with the Specialised Committee meeting in the days before.

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