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Businesses warn they feel in the dark over Brexit

Negotiations are continuing between the British Government and the EU aimed at securing a trade deal.

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Businesses have warned they still feel in the dark over Brexit preparations (PA)

Businesses have warned they still feel in the dark over Brexit preparations (PA)

Businesses have warned they still feel in the dark over Brexit preparations (PA)

Businesses have issued a plea for greater Brexit clarity and warned they still feel unprepared.

Firms in Derry believe they are ill-informed while the clock ticks on a transition period concluding at the end of this year, Sinn Fein Assembly member and former MEP Martina Anderson said.

Negotiations on a trade deal are continuing between the British Government and the EU.

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Martina Anderson said businesses are seeking clarity around Brexit (Nick Ansell/PA)

Martina Anderson said businesses are seeking clarity around Brexit (Nick Ansell/PA)

PA

Martina Anderson said businesses are seeking clarity around Brexit (Nick Ansell/PA)

Ms Anderson said: “Businesses are feeling uninformed, they are feeling unprepared.

“They are telling me that there is an urgency because there is a lack of clarity.

“There are technical details that they want shared with them, they want to understand how unfettered access and trade is going to occur and they are looking for support and understanding.”

The Government has said it will not apply for an extension of the transition period.

If no deal is reached between Britain and the EU, the Northern Ireland protocol is expected to keep it aligned with the bloc’s customs rules to preserve the open Irish border.

Differences exist between Britain and Europe over how the protocol will operate and the extent of checks necessary.

Ms Anderson said Derry Chamber of Commerce had raised the uncertainty with her.

“They want to know what they are going to face and they don’t feel that they are getting enough information or are engaged enough in this process.”

Executive Office junior minister Gordon Lyons told his scrutiny committee at the Assembly more clarity is needed.

“It is difficult to give that clarity when it does not exist, whenever issues still need to be ironed out.”

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Declan Kearney said an extension of the transition period could not be ruled out (Liam McBurney/PA)

Declan Kearney said an extension of the transition period could not be ruled out (Liam McBurney/PA)

PA

Declan Kearney said an extension of the transition period could not be ruled out (Liam McBurney/PA)

The other junior minister, Declan Kearney, said an extension to the transition period could not be ruled out.

He added: “In the context of negotiations there is many a slip between cup and lip and it is never over until it is over.”

He said the European Commission wants to resolve differences.

“Whilst that window remains open there is always potential scope,” he added.

PA