We as representatives of the business community, unions and civic society have come together to urge the United Kingdom Government and the European Union to conclude a Free Trade Agreement as soon as possible. We want to remind them of their commitments to the people of Northern Ireland, notably in the preamble to the  Northern Ireland Protocol. The conclusion of a comprehensive FTA with customs facilitations is essential to avoiding expensive post-transition trade frictions for Northern Ireland which will make our businesses less competitive, will lead to job losses and cause cost rises  that will affect the most economically vulnerable in our society. Our households have less than half of the discretionary income of GB households so these cost rises will be a standard of living issue.


A Free Trade Deal does not address all of the challenges but for our economy to survive the changes that will be happening at the end of the transition period Northern Ireland needs:

  • The UK and EU to conclude a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement without delay that minimizes post-transition frictions and then allows common sense decisions to be taken at the Joint Committee
  • Long-term and lasting solutions to be designed and delivered  by the Joint Committee to remove friction and to ensures the Protocol impacts as little as possible on the everyday life of communities in Northern Ireland.
  • A period of time to adjust to these changes enabling us to implement fully what is required of us.

We want to reaffirm our commitment to making the Northern Ireland Protocol work and we are making our best endeavours to comply but we have neither the technical detail nor the time to do be ready.


A No Deal outcome would place Northern Ireland under unbearable and unnecessary strain at a time of crisis. We plead with you to redouble your efforts to reach an agreement.






Banbridge Chamber of Commerce.

Bangor Chamber of Commerce

Belfast Chamber of Commerce

Causeway Chamber of Commerce

Chartered Institute of Architectural Technicians

Confederation of British Industry NI

Construction Employers Federation

Dairy Council Northern Ireland

Federation of Master Builders

Federation of Small Business

Hospitality Ulster

Institute of Directors Northern Ireland

Irish Congress of Trade Unions

Logistics UK

Londonderry Chamber of Commerce

Manufacturing NI

Mineral Products Association Northern Ireland.

Newry and Mourne Co-operative Enterprise Agency

Newry Chamber of Commerce.

Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action

Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association

Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association

Northern Ireland Hotels Federation

Northern Ireland Meat Exporters

Northern Ireland Retail Consortium

Northern Ireland Tourism  Alliance

Poultry Industry Federation Northern Ireland


Royal Society of Ulster Architects

Ulster Farmers Union

Women in Business Northern Ireland


This statement was sent to the EU, UK Government and the First and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland

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