FSB: Both sides need to deliver pledge that protocol should have little impact

A letter from Roger Pollen:

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 7:43 am
Letter to the editor

Since the Northern Ireland Protocol has been in force, we have been highlighting to government and the EU the issues its operation has been raising for our members.

While some businesses undoubtedly welcome the protection the protocol provides, others find it has created new bureaucracy, increased costs and impacted supply chains.

The statement and Command Paper set out by the UK government, ‘Northern Ireland Protocol: the way forward’ is one side’s response to address these issues, which will be subject to discussions with the EU. Lord Frost has said ‘we cannot go on as we are’. FSB NI would agree with those sentiments, so we also welcome the EU’s offer that it is ready to find ‘creative solutions’.

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Solutions are available if the political will is there.

With grace periods due to expire at the end of September, and small businesses struggling with customs complexity on a daily basis, there is urgent need for discussions to deliver outcomes.

We call once again on both sides to deliver on the commitment to which they signed up – that the protocol should ‘impact as little as possible on the everyday life of communities’.

Roger Pollen, Head of FSB Northern Ireland

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