Brexit report suggests 40,000 job losses in North in event of no-deal
‘A no-deal Brexit would be a complete and utter disaster,’ UUP spokesman says
Stormont’s no-deal analysis suggests 40,000 jobs could be at risk in the North if the UK crashes out of the European Union.
A Stormont economy department report forecasting widespread job losses for Northern Ireland in the case of a no-deal Brexit has caused fresh alarm among politicians and business leaders.
In a new report the department’s no-deal analysis suggests 40,000 jobs could be at risk in the North if the UK crashes out of the European Union.
UUP Brexit and finance spokesman Steve Aiken said the report “should be a wake up call to the Tory leadership, however I doubt they will pay attention to it”.
“The message from industry, from business, agri-business, from everywhere is we need to get to a point of a deal that works for everybody,” he said.
“A no-deal Brexit would be a complete and utter disaster.”
SDLP Brexit spokesman Daniel McCrossan said the analysis “lays out the extreme strain that will be placed on the local economy, businesses and communities if the British Government continues with it’s cliff edge strategy”.
He said 40,000 jobs at risk, a cessation of North-South agri-food trade worth over £800m, and an increase in the cost of business of 14.5 per cent for our service sector is not acceptable and called on anyone advocating a no-deal threat to justify their position.
“The imposition of tariff and non-tariff barriers, which is all but assured under a no-deal exit, will force significant numbers of businesses out of the export market while sales to Britain come under pressure from increased competition from foreign business under WTO rules,” he added. “It is a disaster.”
Northern Ireland Retail Consortium director Aodhán Connolly said the department update was not surprising but “makes for some stark reading”. “It is the biggest threat to our economy since the Troubles,” he said.
“With at least 40,000 jobs at risk or 5 per cent of the employees in NI, it is clearer than ever that we need a deal.”
Mr Connolly said there was not time to waste on “promising implementation periods that can’t happen without a deal or technology that has not be proven to work”.
“Our economy cannot be anyone’s experiment and it cannot be sacrificed for the sake of party politics,” he said.
“This isn’t just about the economy, it is about jobs and families. For their sake we need this to be about people not politics.”
Retail NI chief executive Glyn Roberts said the British government must not consider no deal as an option.
“This analysis confirms what the local business community has been saying for some time about the economic disaster of a no deal Brexit on Northern Ireland,” Mr Roberts said.
“Losing 40,000 jobs would devastate the local economy and have a huge impact on spending in the retail sector.”
“A no deal Brexit should not even be remotely considered by the UK government” .