NI business and civic society urge for deal
On behalf of the 32 business and civic organisations named below:
We as representatives of the business community, unions and civic society have come together to urge the United Kingdom Government and the European Union to conclude a Free Trade Agreement as soon as possible. We want to remind them of their commitments to the people of Northern Ireland, notably in the preamble to the Northern Ireland Protocol. The conclusion of a comprehensive FTA with customs facilitations is essential to avoiding expensive post–transition trade frictions for Northern Ireland which will make our businesses less competitive, will lead to job losses and cause cost rises that will affect the most economically vulnerable in our society. Our households have less than half of the discretionary income of GB households so these cost rises will be a standard of living issue.
A Free Trade Deal does not address all of the challenges but for our economy to survive the changes that will be happening at the end of the transition period Northern Ireland needs:
- The UK and EU to conclude a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement without delay that minimizes post–transition frictions and then allows common sense decisions to be taken at the Joint Committee
- Long–term and lasting solutions to be designed and delivered by the Joint Committee to remove friction and to ensures the Protocol impacts as little as possible on the everyday life of communities in Northern Ireland.
- A period of time to adjust to these changes enabling us to implement fully what is required of us.
We want to reaffirm our commitment to making the Northern Ireland Protocol work and we are making our best endeavours to comply but we have neither the technical detail nor the time to do be ready.
A No Deal outcome would place Northern Ireland under unbearable and unnecessary strain at a time of crisis. We plead with you to redouble your efforts to reach an agreement.
Banbridge Chamber of Commerce.
Bangor Chamber of Commerce
Belfast Chamber of Commerce
Causeway Chamber of Commerce
Chartered Institute of Architectural Technicians
Confederation of British Industry NI
Construction Employers Federation
Dairy Council Northern Ireland
Federation of Master Builders
Federation of Small Business
Institute of Directors Northern Ireland
Irish Congress of Trade Unions
Londonderry Chamber of Commerce
Mineral Products Association Northern Ireland.
Newry and Mourne Co–operative Enterprise Agency
Newry Chamber of Commerce.
Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action
Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association
Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association
Northern Ireland Hotels Federation
Northern Ireland Meat Exporters
Northern Ireland Retail Consortium
Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance
Poultry Industry Federation Northern Ireland
Royal Society of Ulster Architects
Ulster Farmers Union
Women in Business Northern Ireland
This statement was sent to the EU, UK Government and the First and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland