Belfast Telegraph

Business leaders call for trade between Northern Ireland and Britain to remain unrestricted as they meet with Corbyn

By Michelle Weir

Jeremy Corbyn was told that trade between Northern Ireland and Britain must remain unfettered regardless of the Brexit outcome during a meeting with business leaders in Belfast yesterday.

Retail NI, Manufacturing NI and Hospitality Ulster chief executives Glyn Roberts, Stephen Kelly and Colin Neill hosted the Labour Party leader, shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer and shadow secretary of state Tony Lloyd at a round table discussion on the economy at the Europa Hotel.

The visiting MPs were told that there must be a way to ensure there is no border in Ireland or between these islands in the interest of our economy and the hundreds of thousands of workers here. The Labour delegation were also told that the ongoing political impasse at Stormont was "nothing less than a total disgrace".

The business representatives underlined the need for new leadership and an end to the political "blame game".

And they called for the immediate resumption of talks between our parties.

In a joint statement the trio said: "This was a very welcome opportunity to engage with Jeremy Corbyn and his senior shadow cabinet colleagues on a range of issues covering infrastructure investment, city deals for Belfast and Derry, Brexit, skills and training and the local political situation.

"At the meeting we urged the Labour leader to publish their detailed priorities for the Northern Ireland economy if they are elected to government at the next election.

"We made it clear that trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK must remain unfettered regardless of the Brexit agreement outcome.

"The Labour manifesto has some positive ideas, such as a £250m National Transformation Fund for infrastructure and greater investment in vocational and technical skills."

Belfast Telegraph

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