Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland business and civic leaders to address MPs over Brexit deal

Secretary of State Karen Bradley said she hopes the group will help sell Theresa May’s Brexit deal to MPs.

Business and civic leaders from Northern Ireland are set to address MPs on Theresa May’s withdrawal deal.

Representatives from a number of organisations, including Manufacturing NI, NI Meat Exporters Association and the Ulster Farmers’ Union, will be met by Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Ms Bradley said she hopes they can impress upon MPs the importance to Northern Ireland of the United Kingdom securing a Brexit deal with the European Union.

Companies based in the region sold £14.4 billion of goods and services to the rest of the UK in 2017, making a significant contribution to the overall UK economy.

Mrs May’s withdrawal deal has sparked opposition from across the political spectrum, including Northern Ireland’s biggest political party, the Democratic Unionists.

But Ms Bradley has insisted the deal “sets Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK on course for a better future outside the EU”.

She said: “I have been speaking to as many MPs as I can this week to explain the benefits of this deal, and I hope as many as possible will now make time to come along and meet some of the people who will be affected most directly by Brexit.

“This means some great opportunities, with bespoke trade deals and the freedom to spend our taxpayers’ money on our own priorities, as well as some severe risks if we leave with no deal.

“I hope that once they have heard about the opportunities and risks first-hand, MPs will realise that this deal delivers for the whole of the United Kingdom.”

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