Derry Chamber chief Paul Clancy: Protocol working for majority of 350-plus NW businesses
Derry's Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Paul Clancy has informed TDs, Senators and MPs that the ‘overwhelming majority’ of its 350-plus members believe the Protocol is working for business.
Mr. Clancy was addressing the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement this afternoon.
In his evidence to the committee the Chamber chief acknowledged businesses in the north west had faced ‘significant challenges’ over the past five years as a result of a Brexit most had not sought.
But he said that most Derry businesses say the Protocol is working for them.
“Amid continued uncertainty over the status of the Protocol and the Brexit withdrawal agreement and, of course, COVID, it is imperative local businesses have the stability, certainty and support that they require to meet current challenges head on.
“Recent surveys including the chamber’s own membership surveys have shown the desire among business owners here to make the Protocol work.
“In fact 80 per cent of our members urged the Executive to take advantage of the unique trading position that Northern Ireland now has.”
Asked to elaborate on the support for the Protocol among industry in the north west, Mr. Clancy stated: “Just in relation to the surveys we have done with our membership - certainly the overwhelming majority would say the Protocol is working for them and, yes, from a business perspective they know there are some challenges in terms of additional paper work and cost and things like that.”
He continued: “There are some issues in terms of paper work and costs but they are working through those and they see the opportunity as a bigger opportunity for them than as a hindrance if I put it that way.
“It is not a position they would have liked to be in but they are now and they are saying, ‘let’s make it work in its current form’.
“That’s the overwhelming message we are getting from our members across all the sectors.”