NI retailers cannot afford ‘catastrophic cost’ of a no deal Brexit

:Aodh�n Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium. Kevin Cooper � Photoline
:Aodh�n Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium. Kevin Cooper � Photoline

A body representing retailers in Northern Ireland has told a DUP delegation they won’t be able to absorb the cost of any post-Brexit crisis.

Aodhan Connolly of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC) was commenting after a meeting with the DUP on Monday (November 26).

Mr Connolly said: “As always, it was good to engage with the DUP and it was a congenial meeting. We have worked with the DUP for many years and we will work with them during and after Brexit.

“We both passionately argue our stances but our fight is in Parliament where the DUP has 10 out of 650 MPs. Politicians and political parties must listen to the evidence and vote on the information they have at their disposal.”

The NIRC director added: “Retailers can, and have, explained the disaster scenario of a no deal Brexit for Northern Ireland businesses and households.

“With higher costs and half the discretionary income of GB households, we cannot afford to absorb the catastrophic cost rises that a cliff edge no deal would bring.

“If politicians are to say ‘not this deal’ then we must hear clear and immediate alternative solutions. The Brexit clock is ticking loudly.”

Commenting on a separate meeting with Northern Ireland’s pro-remain parties, Mr Connolly said the situation around the government’s Brexit withdrawal agreement “is a Rubicon moment for Northern Ireland and we need the best deal possible”