It is mystifying why Northern Ireland business groups support the protocol

A letter from James Martin:

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 11:47 pm
Updated Friday, 28th May 2021, 6:55 am
Letter to the editor

On January 19 I wrote about what I seemed to me like “the cosy consensus” between Northern Ireland business representatives and Mark Carruthers on the Sunday Politics show of two days earlier (see link below).

Anyone watching the interviews with the business representatives would have been reassured that the protocol problems were caused by teething problems and all would be well soon.

This was of course the line also being taken by the protocol’s political supporters.

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Surely, some five months later it is still not teething problems that has caused increased prices and a reduced range of products for consumers and issues with the supply of drugs for the treatment of cancer patients.

A survey released by Manufacturing NI indicates that 77% of those surveyed reported a negative impact on business, 93% report an increase in the cost of raw materials and 86% report an increase in transport costs.

It is now clear that the protocol will permanently increase living costs, and according to recent reports, reduce the availability of life saving medical treatment for everyone in Northern Ireland.

It is understandable that the SDLP, Alliance and Sinn Fein who facilitated and supported the introduction of the protocol continue to argue for its retention. However it is mystifying as why businesses continue to provide support for arrangements that would appear to be to the disadvantage of almost everyone in Northern Ireland.

James Martin, Dromore, Co Down

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