Derry Chamber call on new SoS to deal with ‘looming spectre’ of Halloween No Deal Brexit

New NI Secretary of State Julian Smith is taking over from Karen Bradley.
New NI Secretary of State Julian Smith is taking over from Karen Bradley.

The President of Derry’s Chamber of Commerce has called on new Northern Ireland Secretary of State Julian Smith to immediately begin dealing with the “spectre” of a Halloween No Deal Brexit.

Reacting to the appointment of Julian Smith MP as the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brian McGrath has said local businesses now hoped to see immediate, committed engagement to deal with the looming spectre of a no deal Brexit”.

Mr McGrath made the comments after new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday repeated his position that the UK will be leaving the European Union by October 31 this year irrespective of whether a fresh deal has been reached or not.

Julian Smith (47) from Stirling in Scotland, is the Conservative MP for Skipton & Ripon in Yorkshire. He was appointed to replace Karen Bradley by Mr Johnson in a major cabinet overhaul yesterday.

Derry’s Chamber President said: “The Chamber’s concerns around Brexit are well-documented. Being a border region, the effects of Brexit will be very acutely felt here so it is imperative that our voice is heard in Westminster and a deal is struck with the EU to guarantee an orderly exit. A no deal Brexit would be catastrophic.

“The Chamber and other regional stakeholders in the North West are willing to work with the new NI Secretary to play their part in ensuring as smooth a transition as possible, as we move towards exiting the EU on October 31.”