Responding to the result of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement vote, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber), said:

“The business communities that we represent have always had a diverse range of views on what form the UK’s future relationship with the EU should take, however they do agree on the need to avoid a messy and disorderly Brexit.

“To achieve this we therefore need an agreement that will secure the transition period and protect jobs. As businesses wait to see what happens next in Parliament, it is crucial that those at Westminster move beyond tactical manoeuvring and look at all the options in order to avoid a No Deal scenario.

“Firms are in the dark on too many aspects of life after 29 March. This has already led to many businesses taking action – pausing on recruitment and investment, stockpiling goods, and relocating factories in other parts of the EU. In fact, a third of NI Chamber members are currently putting growth and investment plans on hold in the absence of clarity from Westminster. There is however nothing to stop government acting decisively on areas within their control, such as migration and customs procedures.

“For businesses, it’s not about political personalities or procedures, it’s about results. They want this long and laborious chapter of Brexit to come to a swift conclusion. The endless Westminster back-and-forth only causes business frustration to mount further.”

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