A satisfactory EU deal is essential if companies and consumers are not to be left dealing with the fallout from a ‘cliff-edge Brexit’ a business leader has claimed.
Speaking after the release of the second round of no deal Brexit technical notes from the Government, Aodhán Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium said they showed that a no deal outcome represented “a charter for more cost and complexity for companies”.
“Retailers want to invest in skills and a better consumer experience, not fritter money away on unnecessary red tape from a No Deal Brexit,” he added.
For cosmetics retailers, for example, having an authorised representative for approvals in both the UK and EU would be required to ensure double authorisations for products were maintained.
UK companies would not be allowed to use a responsible person located in the UK to place a product on the EU market, and vice versa for importers.
“But it is not just retailers who will suffer.
“Our indigenous manufacturers could suffer with added bureaucracy. Goods assessed by UK authorities will no longer be recognised within the EU, and will require additional testing by an EU-approved testing body.
“We need a deal to protect NI business and the hard pressed NI consumer from a no deal, cliff edge Brexit.”
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman, Mike Cherry, said each release of notes brought “a clearer picture of how dangerous and damaging a sudden no-deal Brexit will be for our small businesses”.
“What these technical notes highlight is the risk that in particular exporting and importing small firms will be hit with additional cost burdens and complicated levels of compliance that they simply can’t handle.
“Small businesses have been working hard to be compliant with new personal data protection changes such as GDPR.
“Our smallest firms simply do not have the capacity or resources to deal with added costs and administrative burden that an unplanned no-deal Brexit will bring. We are fast running out of time to secure a business friendly Brexit that avoids this scenario and centres on a transition period.”