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UK government 'no-deal Brexit response offers little respite for concerned businesses

Pictured is Brexit secretary Dominic Raab speaking yesterday following the launch of the first of the Government's technical notices on the no deal preparations
Gareth McKeown

THOSE within the business community expecting answers in relation to Brexit were once again left disappointed following the

publication of the 'no deal' Brexit papers.

Yesterday in The Irish News the chief executive of the Northern Ireland Commerce, Ann McGregor, called for clarity ahead of leaving the EU next March, but today those questions still remain unanswered.

Within the Brexit 'no deal' plans published yesterday it appears uncertainty prevails for businesses in the north, with the worst case scenario of the negotiations outlined in some of its entirety.

While Brexit secretary Dominic Raab in his speech yesterday recognised the “incredibly important issue around Northern Ireland”, there is little reassurance to be found within the 'no deal' papers.

The UK Government has effectively passed the buck and told businesses who trade with the Republic to contact the Irish government to discuss arrangements in the event no exit agreement can be reached.

With just seven months until Brexit D-day it is an alarming development,which only adds to an already disjointed process.

A warning that import and export licences could be required from next year is also concerning news and more unwelcome red tape for businesses reliant upon cross-border trade.

For much of the many pages published yesterday there is reference to the various issues facing both Northern Ireland and UK businesses, but there is little meat on the bones.

Indeed for the north the same tired line is almost repeated verbatim across the notices. Reference is of course made to the “very significant challenges” Northern Ireland could face, but this appears to mere lip service, rather than backed up with any clear form of action.

What is clear is that a no deal Brexit is unlikely to be good news for business, and by extension consumers, who in the short-term at least, may have to bear the burden of increased costs and regulations.

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