Belfast Telegraph

Varadkar meets with Belfast businesses over Brexit

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks to the media after touring Hillsborough Castle yesterday
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks to the media after touring Hillsborough Castle yesterday
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

Business groups from Northern Ireland and the Republic met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Belfast yesterday to voice their concern over the future of cross border trade after Brexit.

More than one dozen senior business figures from the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Dublin Chamber took part in the private meeting at the Grand Central hotel to discuss the implications for both economies.

Chief executive of NI Chamber, Ann McGregor, said: "Businesses in Northern Ireland are rightly concerned about the future of north-south relationships including all-island trade, integration of our labour markets, the all-island energy market and the damaging impact a no-deal exit could have on export sales.

"A messy and disorderly Brexit on October 31 would cause widespread damage to businesses and communities across the country."

Drawing on the recent Department for the Economy report, highlighting the risk posed to 40,000 Norhern Ireland jobs as a result of a no-deal scenario, she added: "Most businesses and neither government is adequately prepared for a no-deal exit, which must not be allowed to happen by default."

The chief executive of Dublin Chamber, Mary Rose Burke said: "Regardless of Brexit, the business communities north and south of the border are fully committed to closer economic cooperation across the island of Ireland, and to furthering the high level of integration that already exists.

"The free movement of goods across the border has been part of the economic architecture of this island for generations."

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