- A business chief in Northern Ireland has warned that a trade war between the UK and European Union would damage firms across the country.
- Derry Chamber Chief Executive, Aidan O’Kane has said that it was “imperative” that any threat of a trade war was taken off the table.
- So that any breakdown in relations does not hurt businesses in Northern Ireland.
A recent news article published in the Belfastlive states that trade war between UK-EU would be detrimental to NI businesses, says Derry Chamber boss.
Trade stand-off between the UK and EU
Threats of a trade stand-off between the UK and EU come after the Government unveiled its deeply controversial Northern Ireland Bill – legislation that would see parts of the post-Brexit deal scrapped.
It seeks to remove some post-Brexit trade barriers for goods moving into Northern Ireland from Great Britain.
Speaking to MyDerry, Mr O’Kane called for a “negotiated solution” between the UK and EU over the situation, one that would offer hope of a reformed assembly.
Political instability damaging business
He said: “Political instability is damaging business confidence, and any attempt to end the current Stormont impasse is to be welcomed. The UK Government, however, must recognise that the Protocol is working for North West businesses.
“Local traders are reaping the benefits of unique access to UK and EU markets and want to see our new export opportunities maximised, not ended.
“It is imperative that this new legislation has minimal disruption on current trading arrangements, with any new provisions guided by real business concerns, not ideology.
“Our membership surveys have consistently shown widespread support for new GB-NI trading rules.”
Northern Ireland’s unique trading position
He continued: “Last year, 80% of respondents said the Chamber should urge the Executive to take full advantage of Northern Ireland’s unique trading position introduced by the Protocol.
“Prior to this year’s Assembly election, 9% of respondents stated they wanted May’s poll to focus on the Protocol. Overall, businesses have adjusted well to new trading arrangements, and early problems related to supply chain issues have been minimised.
“The overwhelming feeling among North West businesses is that the Protocol is an incredible opportunity. Central Statistics Office statistics show that cross-border trade on this island has jumped by over £2.3bn in 2021.
“Foreign investors are looking to our region as a gateway into two of the world’s leading economic blocs, bringing jobs, infrastructure, and prosperity to our region. And, most importantly, businesses have avoided any major economic disruption caused by Brexit. These advantages have been hard-won and simply cannot afford to be lost.”
Did you subscribe to our daily Newsletter?
It’s Free! Click here to Subscribe