‘One stop’ post Brexit business hubs mooted

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Businesses across the north west have urged councils to look at setting up “one stop shops” at Donegal border points with Derry and Strabane.

The move was mooted in the feedback collected from a new region-wide study triggered by Brexit.

Michael Gallagher, Strategy Manager with Derry-Strabane Council said local people affected and those representing companies were “way ahead of everyone else in thinking this right through” and urged that they needed to be listened to.

He said: “Some of the other things people haver raised is ‘could we look at a cross-border trade zone?’ That’s quite possible.

“Anyone who knows the geography of the area, if someone wants to relocate from UK to EU could be sitting Bridgend on one side of the road and in the UK on the other.

“There are options there. What we have been asked as part of the consultation by business people and others is, is that something the councils would look at, facilitate, like almost a one-stop shop.”

The conference was told that the two councils are looking at digital strategies to see how technology can be utilised to circumvent the imposition of a physical border.

Experts said that the last time the border had a physical dimension, the internet was in its infancy and may prove useful now in terms of doing business cross-border.