Belfast Telegraph

Business leaders call for a 'plan B' after talks failure

Concern: Aodhan Connolly
Concern: Aodhan Connolly

By Andrew Madden

Northern Ireland's business leaders have said now is time for "plan B" after the collapse of the Stormont talks.

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With the highest vacancy rate in the UK and months of declining footfall, business chiefs have said a lack of ministerial decision-making has made a "bad situation worse".

On Wednesday DUP leader Arlene Foster announced that the latest round of talks with Sinn Fein to restore the institutions had failed and she urged the UK Government to begin making policy decisions.

In a joint statement, Hospitality Ulster and Retail NI bosses Colin Neill and Glyn Roberts expressed their "bitter disappointment" at the news.

It said: "We need a government and ministers in place. Our organisations have always preferred devolved ministers - but it is now time for a plan B."

Aodhan Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, said instead of uncertainty, leadership is required.

"We are facing even more uncertainty with Brexit when what we need is leadership."

Belfast Telegraph