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Brexit Deal Should Keep The UK In A Customs Union, Trade Groups Say

The Ibec/CBI Joint Business Council has come out and issued a written statement saying that it’s vital a no-deal Brexit is avoided and that any agreement should look towards keeping the UK in a customs union, as well as minimising trade barriers.

A no-deal outcome would, the group continued, result in legal, regulatory and trade barriers appearing overnight and lead to a huge shock economically for both the UK and Irish economies, undermining the ability of many businesses to trade and resulting in huge job losses.

The Business On A Connected Island report suggests that forming a comprehensive customs union would help sort out some of the more complex issues, such as how to manage cross-border trade once we’ve left the EU. It could also minimise the impact of future regulatory divergence and avoid any disruption to east-west trade between Britain and Ireland.

Director of CBI Northern Ireland Angela McGowan said: “As a small peripheral economy Northern Ireland must absolutely make the most of all trade opportunities north-south and east-west. At this crucial time, the business community has a responsibility to stay focused on our long-term ambition to deliver greater economic prosperity for all.”

Paul Sims, director of UK business consultancy firm The Blue Bear Partnership, went on to add: “It appears the global trade deal still can go either way, with trade deals affecting imports and export markets’ ability to trade effectively and for businesses to maintain the status quo.

“Regardless of trade barriers being up down or delayed through a transition period one thing is for sure – there’s a real need for UK business working within international trade both as importers or exporters to attain Authorised Economic Operator status ASAP.”

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