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Northern Ireland business sector urged to 'speak up' on Brexit after Supreme Court ruling

By Rachel Martin

Northern Ireland will lose more from Brexit than the £490m financial cost of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scandal, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has warned.

Owen Reidy, congress assistant general secretary, hit out at a decision by the Supreme Court not to give the assemblies of the devolved nations a vote over Article 50.

Mr Reidy said leaving the EU was "too important to be left to Westminster politicians".

He said: "It is bad enough that MLAs in Stormont will have little or no say, but it is worse that the Executive has no unified voice on this, unlike the devolved administrations in Edinburgh and Cardiff, who have both produced detailed proposals in consultation with business and trade unions in their areas."

He said the 56% of the Northern Ireland turnout who had voted Remain in the referendum now had no voice, with the economy here likely to be hardest hit following Brexit. "It is past the time for business, farmers and community activists to speak up - Brexit is too enormous and important to be left to politicians.

"We face losing from our trade and business each year more cash than the total cost of RHI. Where is the same outrage?"

Mr Reidy also warned that cross-border workers' rights could be harmed by Brexit.

ICTU estimates 30,000 workers cross the border every day, living in one jurisdiction and working in another.

Belfast Telegraph