Northern Ireland’s MPs have an obligation to secure a deal at Westminster for the benefit of everyone in the province with a firm focus on the economy and job creation Chamber of Commerce president Ellvena Grahame has claimed.
Speaking at the Chamber’s annual lunch at Belfast City Hall, she said the first two weeks of her tenure had seen remarkable devlopments in the political landscape, but stressed that main challenges facing business in the province remained unchanged and unaddressed.
“However the political cards fall, our MPs must be to secure a deal that is for the benefit of everyone in Northern Ireland – one that is inclusive and eases the economic uncertainty that we’ve been enduring for so long.
“We must focus on the economy and job creation.”
With the current focus on Westminster she said the local local picture must not be neglected.
“We cannot be left in limbo. Our political parties must come to an agreement that will allow Government to start again.
“It really is time to put the Northern Ireland economy first – a strong economy will benefit everyone.”
In terms of Brexit, Ms Graham highlighted the fact that the province was unprepared for what was to come.
“The EU has a plan. London has a plan. So do Scotland and Wales. Where is our plan? We need the Northern Ireland Executive to reform, to agree a final Programme for Government, an economic strategy, and to establish a single Northern Ireland action plan on Brexit which will address key business concerns.
“It would also be great for inward investment if the long awaited reduction in Corporation Tax could be finalised.”
Also attending one of her first major public events, Belfast Lord Mayor Nuala McAllister said the primary theme of her term was ‘Global Belfast’ and the desire to make sure the city was welcoming and open city to businesses, visitors and citizens alike.
“Belfast is indeed ready to do business. We believe we are equipped to be a serious international player, and our performance in recent years demonstrates this.”