‘No deal’ must be avoided at all costs

Brian McGrath, President of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce
Brian McGrath, President of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce

The president of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce has welcomed a warning by a top civil servant in relation to the impact of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

The head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, David Sterling, sent a letter to political parties earlier this week warning that a no deal Brexit would have ‘grave consequences’ for the North.

Brian McGrath said the correspondence reiterates what his chamber had been warning for quite some time. “A no deal Brexit would have severe consequences for businesses, trade and people right across Northern Ireland,” he said.

“A no deal Brexit will be a disaster for businesses and companies in the north west city region. Given our proximity to the border and reliance on seamless cross-border trade, travel and relationships, businesses here would be acutely impacted by the fall out of a no deal,” he added.

Mr. McGrath said the issues associated with a no-deal Brexit have been “further compounded due to the absence of a functioning Assembly and the lack of local ministers to speak on our behalf.”

“David Sterling’s letter once again highlights that a no deal Brexit does not come with any guarantees about the continuation of cross-border trade as we know it and the consequences for us are grave. We must have a frictionless border so that businesses and people across the north west can continue to do what they do every day. To ensure this, it is vital that we have the softest Brexit possible and avoid a no deal at all costs,” he concluded.