The Northern Ireland Business Brexit Working Group has called for the UK Government and the EU to find immediate solutions to the trade friction which is hampering businesses in Northern Ireland. There are meetings of the Specialised Committee and Joint Committee on the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol this week and the Working Group believes that it is imperative that the UK and the EU get around the table and fix the issues that are causing so much concern.
We Cannot Afford Another Missed Opportunity
A spokesman for the Working Group is quoted on the Share Cast website as saying:
“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.
“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
“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. 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.”
Both Sides Must Make A Real Effort To Find Common Ground
It really is a crying shame that businesses, just when the pandemic is hopefully on the wane, are being hampered in this way and subjected to extra tariffs and paperwork. If both sides make a real effort to find some common ground and put aside their petty rivalries we are sure that the issues could be ironed out fairly swiftly. Whether there is the will on both sides of the divide remains to be seen.