Business chiefs issue call for clarity around Brexit

The UK has backed Brexit
The UK has backed Brexit

Northern Ireland’s business community has called for clarity around Brexit.

Urgent action is needed to ensure continued trade and access to markets and underpin the economy, the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce said.

Its members hold a range of views on last month’s EU referendum.

President Nick Coburn said: “Our energy is now focused on overcoming the immediate challenges, and seizing the eventual opportunities that transition will bring.

“Following a brief period of reflection, businesses want to understand when changes will occur in government, when Article 50 will be triggered, and what the time-frame for negotiation will be thereafter.”

The organisation called for stability for markets and business confidence, clarity on the timings for Brexit decisions and action to support the economy at a sensitive time of transition.

Mr Coburn also asked the Executive to continue to progress priorities like growing trade, developing skills, driving down business costs and rebuilding infrastructure.

Mr Coburn said business people wanted to see the Northern Ireland Executive progress the North/South power interconnector, reform rates and provide access to money raised from a proposed apprenticeships levy.

“These and other decisions are urgently required to support firms that are working tirelessly and optimistically to deliver sales, profits and prosperity despite facing skills gaps, trade uncertainty, rising costs and a markedly softer economy.”