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Retailers welcome Commons no-deal Brexit rejection

Ireland's two main retail bodies have welcome the latest Commons Brexit vote (Victoria Jones/PA)
Ireland's two main retail bodies have welcome the latest Commons Brexit vote (Victoria Jones/PA)

The two main retail bodies in Northern Ireland and the Republic have welcome the rejection of a no-deal Brexit in the Commons

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On Wednesday night, a majority of MPs voted in favour of an amended motion ruling out the UK leaving the EU without a deal at any time and under any circumstances.

While the motion is not legally-binding, Retail NI chief executive Glynn Roberts said it provides "some degree of certainty" for businesses and said the Commons must now agree to seek an extension to the Article 50 departure date of March 29.

“The UK Government’s proposals for a no-deal tariff regime made for frightening reading for retailers on both sides of the NI border," he said.

"A no-deal exit would cause untold damage to cross-border shopping and to border town economies, and would doubtless lead to a considerable increase in illegal cross-border trade where an impractical ‘honour-based’ system of duties had been proposed by the UK earlier today."

Earlier on Wednesday, the Government outlined temporary no-deal Brexit plans that would see no import tariffs apply to goods entering Northern Ireland across the Irish border.

Tariffs of up to 40% in some cases, however, are planned for products being exported from the Republic to the UK.

David Fitzsimons, head of Retail Excellence, which represents retailers in the Republic, said a "negotiated exit" is vital for the industry.

"Retail in the Republic of Ireland employs over 282,000 people employing more than all the multinationals in Ireland combined, and contributes over €7 billion (£595bn) to the exchequer," he said.

"As an industry it is perhaps the most exposed to economic shifts and for that reason alone we need a negotiated exit for our closest trading partner."

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