Posted on Thursday 29 November 2018 by John Mulgrew

Chamber 1

It’s now time for political leaders opposed to a draft withdrawal agreement on Brexit to “outline alternative proposals” as an overwhelming majority of Northern Ireland’s business community back the plans, an industry leader has said.

Ellvena Graham, president of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Prime Minister Theresa May's deal on the table is “definitely much better than a no-deal scenario”.

“After a long period of negotiation we now have a draft Withdrawal Agreement which is undoubtedly a welcome step forward for the majority of businesses in Northern Ireland,” she said.

“We want the outcome that’s best for businesses, for consumers, for the economy and for the future stability of Northern Ireland – and we’ll do everything we can to ensure that we get it.

“We therefore encourage our political representatives who support the draft agreement to do everything in their power to influence political representatives in Britain to join them.

“For those that are not in support of the draft agreement, it is now time to outline your alternative proposals. We are willing to listen.”

Ms Graham was speaking at the NI Chamber’s President’s Banquet at ICC Belfast.

And as Northern Ireland approaches two years without a devolved government, she said that while there is a “vibrant and innovative business community that wants to invest and grow” that it is “stymied because of the prolonged absence of a regional government and the endless Brexit bickering”.

Joining Ms Graham at the Banquet was guest speaker Jed Mercurio, creator of BBC hit dramas Bodyguard and Line of Duty.

 

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