CBI Director says a no-deal Brexit is not an option

A ‘no-deal’ Brexit is simply not an option for businesses in Northern Ireland if the region is to remain viable and competitive according to Director of CBI, NI, Angela McGowan.

Speaking at ACCA’s Business Leader’s Forum in Belfast, Angela outlined the growing impact that the Brexit process was having on the economy and businesses in Northern Ireland with stalling investment, problems accessing skills and declining levels of R&D set to negatively impact upon economic growth in the months ahead.

Warning business leaders against fuelling the growing commentary and normalisation of a no-deal Brexit as an option, she outlined the negative consequences of such a scenario on the UK, Ireland and the Northern Ireland economies, as well as the border.

Commenting, Angela McGowan, said, “the current frictionless arrangements have allowed companies to access a larger market, integrated supply chains and pooled labour market – all of which have contributed hugely to the local economy but would be at risk in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

“If we were to have a no-deal, goods from the UK to the EU would revert to WTO rules requiring additional taxes on over 90% of exports, which would place an unacceptable toll on our business community.  Equally, imports from the remaining member states would suffer the same consequence, driving inflation up and reducing consumer confidence and spend.”

“What this will also mean for Northern Ireland businesses is administrative burdens, disruption to global supply chains, quotas, and regulation compliance.  We must continue to be forthright in our objections to a no-deal and ensure that the business community has its voice heard on this crucial matter.”

Commenting Caitriona Allis, Head of ACCA Ireland, said, “As a global accountancy body that advises companies across Northern Ireland industry we understand the local, national and international impact that a no deal Brexit would mean for local business and we welcome and endorse Angela’s call that their very specific needs are considered at this critical time.”  

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Notes to Editors:

*4% R&D ONS 2016

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"As a global accountancy body that advises companies across Northern Ireland industry we understand the local, national and international impact that a no deal Brexit would mean for local business and we welcome and endorse Angela’s call that their very specific needs are considered at this critical time."

Caitriona Allis - head of ACCA Ireland