James Woods, Chief Operating Officer of GM Marketing (Ireland) Ltd, appeared today as a guest on BBC Radio Ulster’s The Nolan Show to share his perspective on how the newly implemented Windsor Framework is impacting businesses like GM Marketing.
James oversees operations for the distribution company GM Marketing, which has been operating throughout the Island of Ireland and GB for over 23 years. The Windsor Framework refers to the post-Brexit trading arrangements that have now come into effect for Northern Ireland, including new customs processes like the green and red lane system for moving goods.
During the interview, Woods explained that while the Framework is not ideal, it does provide valuable clarity for businesses: “We welcome clarity as we move forward into this new world post Brexit and post Windsor Framework. The big thing for us is that we now believe that we know the lay of the land and we know what we’re dealing with.”
However, James acknowledged there are logistical headaches and added costs involved: “There have been a few bumps along the way and we’re trying very hard to work out how we keep product moving into this island, both North and South.”
He gave an example of a European products that comes through GB into Northern Ireland and then onto the Republic of Ireland market, which now incurs tariffs despite its EU origins: “When that product goes into the South, we have to pay tariffs on it.”
As radio host Stephen Nolan asked, these extra tariffs ultimately get passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. James confirmed this reality but noted it’s just one of many rising costs that consumers are dealing with currently.
Still, James struck a tone of resilience, saying Northern Ireland businesses will find ways to adapt. As he put it: “Whatever we have to deal with, we’ll deal with…..Northern Ireland business community is extremely resilient…. we will learn and adapt, get on with it and find ways of making this work.”
In conclusion, James emphasised the need for stability and certainty moving forward to allow for business growth, saying: “What we can’t have is more change. Tell us this is it and let us get on with it.” The interview provided helpful insights into the business impacts of the Windsor Framework and the outlook of distribution companies like GM Marketing as they navigate this new trading landscape.