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Newry Chamber of Commerce representatives meet with The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee to discuss Brexit

At a meeting held on Thursday 26th October at the offices of The MJM Group, a very impressive line-up of Newry Chamber representatives covering the Port, Beef, Construction, Manufacturing, Freight & Transport sectors as well as the Polish community and colleagues from the Dundalk Chamber met with members of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

Welcoming the committee, President Michael McKeown commented on the drive of the Newry business community to succeed and to hold the Brexiteers to their promises of delivering frictionless and seamless trade on the Island of Ireland. He said ‘The only way to ensure ‘free and frictionless’ trade with the EU is to remain a full member of the customs union and single market’.

Other key discussion points included;

– Protection of the European goods in transit arrangement

– Recognition for unique status but also to protect 70% of our trade that goes to mainland Great Britain

– Businesses need certainty for future business planning

– Access to labour outside of the UK is key to many sectors

– Threat of cheaper and non-ethical imports from outside of the EU from countries with unacceptable standards of health and safety and low wages.

– Impact of withdrawal of Peace and Interreg funding

– Potential increased consignment charges and additional paperwork

– Impact on cross border workers and potential impact of customs delays on commuting times to work

Those who attended:

Members of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee with President Michael McKeown, Mary Meehan – CEO of Newry Chamber, Liam Hannaway – CEO of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Paddy Malone and Michael Gaynor – Dundalk Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Conor Patterson – Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency, Peter Conway – Warrenpoint Harbour Authority, Cathal Grant – CGDM Construction, George Mullen – ABP Beef, Brian McConville, The MJM Group, Jerome Mullen – Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Northern Ireland & Vincent McGovern – Trans Europe Express