Belfast Telegraph

Devolved UK regions need united voice in Brexit talks, insists CBI

By David Young

Business leaders in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales say the devolved regions of the UK should have a formal input into Brexit negotiations.

The call comes in a letter from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

A letter arguing the case and signed by Angela McGowan, CBI NI, Hugh Aitken, CBI Scotland, and Ian Price of CBI Wales appears in today's Belfast Telegraph.

The CBI says it is committed to making a success of Brexit and the opportunities it offers, arguing that for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, a good Brexit deal is one that puts people, trade and jobs first.

"While Brexit will impact our communities differently, businesses across Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales all want the best deal possible. By feeding into the negotiations, each nation can play its part securing a good outcome for the whole of the UK", the business leaders say.

The CBI speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors across the UK. The organisation says its members employ approximately seven million people, about one third of the private sector-employed workforce.

The letter argues that as powers are taken back by the UK as part of the Brexit process, some of those powers will fall to the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to implement.

The devolved administration should be "partners, not strangers" in the talks. For that reason, the CBI trio say "joined-up discussion with business should take place so powers are returned to the right level".

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