TRIGGERING Article 16 will have a potentially ‘devastating’ impact on Newry businesses.
As heads of Government and the EU work to find solutions surrounding the NI Protocol, The President of Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade stressed that Newry’s prosperity depends on dual market access being maintained.
In a direct plea to the UK Government, Chamber President Emma Mullen Marmion appealed to the UK Government to find solutions to resolve ongoing issues related to the Northern Ireland Protocol, rather than triggering Article 16.
With talks between Brexit Minister, Lord Frost, and European Commission Vice President, Maros Šefčovič, at a critical stage, Newry Chamber, on behalf of its members, calls for certainty and stability.
Correspondence from Newry Chamber was yesterday, Monday, delivered to the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis.
There is growing speculation that the UK is planning to use Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol in the coming weeks.
The UK government says it "would not go down this route gratuitously or with any particular pleasure".
Emma Mullen Marmion, President of Newry Chamber said, “Reports that the UK Government are preparing to trigger Article 16 is unhelpful and does nothing to offer confidence to our business community. The NI protocol is a consequence of Brexit, while parts of it will undoubtedly require practical adaptations. It may not be perfect but many of our members have already been successfully making it work for them.
“We have had good engagement with both sides over recent months. Lord Forst and Maros Šefčovič have visited Newry to better understand our issues. We have stressed that Newry’s prosperity depends on dual market access being maintained.
We know that extending grace periods is not the answer, but nor is triggering article 16, due to our location close to the border and the fact that the whole island of Ireland is in practice our home market. This has a potentially devastating impact on our members.
“We hope that as we approach the first anniversary of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, that through continued dialogue a compromise will be achieved. This is what the business community of Newry wants so they can have the certainty required to allow them to focus on growing the economy”.