Belfast Telegraph

Home Business Brexit

Brexit and Stormont paralysis 'negatively impacting' economy

Business leaders in Northern Ireland believe the province has gone backwards over the last year, with the economy slowing down as the lack of an Assembly and Brexit take their toll, a survey has found.
Business leaders in Northern Ireland believe the province has gone backwards over the last year, with the economy slowing down as the lack of an Assembly and Brexit take their toll, a survey has found.
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Business leaders in Northern Ireland believe the province has gone backwards over the last year, with the economy slowing down as the lack of an Assembly and Brexit take their toll, a survey has found.

Election & Brexit briefing Newsletter

The Belfast Telegraph's General Election 2019 briefing, plus Brexit news, opinions and analysis.

And only 10% of 400 businesspeople surveyed by Chartered Accountants Ulster Society said they support a no-deal Brexit.

Just under half (48%) back revoking Article 50 to stay in the EU while a further 29% back a second EU referendum.

And 93% of members said they felt the lack of an Executive would have a negative effect on the economy in the year ahead.

The survey found that 35% of Northern Ireland chartered accountants believe the economy is stagnant, with around one in five believing it is contracting.

Just 42% said they believed the economy was growing - though only 11% said the economy is growing moderately or strongly.

Richard Gillan, chairman of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society, said: "Our members feel that we have taken a considerable step backwards in the last year.

Sign In

"Concerns about the democratic deficit and the uncertainty over Brexit have not been addressed. The longer these go on, the more difficult it is for local business to contribute to growth, jobs and a better quality of life in Northern Ireland."

He said the Executive should be restored "as soon as possible".

"It is now two-and-a-half years since its collapse and the impasse is leading to stagnation, it is affecting business investment and it is affecting the provision of public services," he said.

"We want to send a clear message to our politicians that the lack of day to day decision making cannot go on. It is time for them to create a clear vision and a stimulus package which can provide a step change not just for the local economy, but for education and healthcare provision here as well."

He added that the time had come for political stability and investment in capital spending projects.

"It is time to invest in young people. It is time to reform health care. It is time to introduce a new private sector economic stimulus package and to provide a clear economic plan for the decade ahead," he said.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular