MNI Statement on the new agreement between the UK and the EU
We give a guarded welcome to the agreement between the UK and the EU. It removes the risk of a catastrophic no deal and set a new floor below which NI could not fall providing a solid foundation from which to press up from should the UK and EU not speedily conclude a new relationship.
What is good is that a deal is struck, we can hopefully move on to the more positive conversation about the future relationship and regardless Northern Ireland can continue to have tariff free, quota free access to both the UK and the EU’s single market.
However, there is the potential for significant new frictions for some trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain and a complex and costly regime to manage tariffs for goods travelling through Northern Ireland to the EU.
It is now critically important that Parliament approves a deal and that work is escalated to secure a new positive long term free trade relationship between the UK and the EU. It is also critical that the UK puts legal protections on trade between NI and the rest of the UK and mitigates and compensates against the new administrative costs and burdens which NI businesses and consumers would have to endure in order for the rest of the UK to move on from Brexit.