At a speech at the Tory Conference in Manchester, which runs all this week, Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton-Harris has claimed that more traders than ever want to do business in Northern Ireland now the Windsor Framework is in place. He says that more than 1,600 have signed up to the UK internal market scheme.
Goods Going Into Green And Red Lanes
A new system has now been introduced, with goods coming into Northern Ireland that are heading for the EU going into a red lane, but goods that are staying in Northern Ireland going into a green lane where there will be less checks and red tape to deal with. As Mr Heaton-Harris states, this is an improvement on the Protocol which was previously in place, but there are still more checks than there was before Brexit.
Here are some of the things Mr Heaton-Harris told delegates at the conference, as copied from an article on the Belfast Newsletter website:
“Let me just give you one stat to demonstrate how the Windsor Framework is a major improvement on the protocol and how it will be noticed by the people of Northern Ireland itself.
“Over 1,600 new businesses have signed up to our new internal market scheme, meaning more traders than ever want to do business in Northern Ireland.
“Conference, I just want to say something about the future of Northern Ireland: there’s always been a lot of doom and gloom around this subject for too long.
“In reality, Northern Ireland’s economic prospects are unbelievably promising. A couple of weeks ago, I, alongside the Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi (Badenoch), hosted an investment summit in Northern Ireland, 160 international businesses came along, some visiting Northern Ireland for the first time.
“They came because business truly recognises the opportunities that exist.”
Concerns Do Remain In The Country Regarding The Windsor Framework
He also added that:
“Now I know concerns remain in Northern Ireland about the Windsor Framework and we will continue to work to address them. There is scope to do so, based on the principle that the UK internal market must be promoted as well as protected.”
Mr Heaton-Harris said that earlier in the morning he had visited Peel Port in Birkenhead “to see the smooth flow of trade goods able to travel between Great Britain and Northern Ireland”.
“I am also actively exploring how we can support a new ferry route between Larne and Liverpool so we can seize the moment to increase trade within the UK further.”