Mon 12th Aug 2019
NI Chamber hosts Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove
Following the hosting of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) at Allstate NI this morning (Saturday 10 August), NI Chamber Chief Executive Ann McGregor commented:
“Mr Gove was made fully aware that Northern Ireland’s business community is united in the view that a messy and disorderly Brexit will cause widespread damage to businesses and communities across the country.
“A no-deal Brexit will mean an immediate and significant change in market conditions for many businesses, across a huge range of sectors.
“In fact, the implications for Northern Ireland are starkly portrayed in a recent British Chambers of Commerce and NI Chamber Brexit survey where 2 in 5 of our members said that in the event of a ‘no deal’ they would plan to move all or some of their business to the EU. This is twice as high as the UK average (1 in 5).
“Other key changes that businesses here would make, and in some cases are already making, in the event of a ‘no deal’ include revisions to investment, recruitment and export plans.
“It was evident from today’s meeting that whilst there is absolutely no appetite for a no-deal Brexit, firms also need to be able to plan for all scenarios. Urgent answers are needed around the areas of trade, people and borders. We do not believe that government or its agencies are prepared for a ‘no deal’ scenario, nor are many businesses.”
Speaking after the event, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove said:
“I would like to thank all the business leaders I met today for such an open and constructive discussion.
“The UK is leaving the EU on October 31st – no ifs, no buts – and it is my top priority to make sure that every part of the UK is ready to leave.
“We believe a deal is eminently possible and we would prefer to leave with a deal but, whatever the circumstances, this Government will never create a hard border on the island of Ireland.
“We will prioritise stability and ensure that commerce continues to flow, that investment can be secured for the future and that jobs and prosperity can be safeguarded. We are stepping up preparations and we look forward to working closely with businesses in Northern Ireland and are listening to their concerns.”