Business on both sides of the border welcomes agreement to form a new Northern Ireland Executive

January 11, 2020

The Ibec/CBI Joint Business Council (JBC) has welcomed the New Decade, New Approach Agreement between Northern Ireland’s political leaders to restore devolved power-sharing Government in Northern Ireland. The re-establishment of an Executive and recommencement of the work of the North/South Ministerial Council is long overdue.

Business leaders are acutely aware of the challenges to the all-island economy that need to be addressed. Therefore, they urge the new Executive to urgently prepare a work programme that supports business, investment and job creation in the context of the Withdrawal Agreement and the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol.

A restored Northern Ireland Executive and a reconvened North/South Ministerial Council (NSMC) have essential work to do regarding the protection and growth of both economies across this island. Therefore, the JBC strongly urges all parties to now work together so that these devolved institutions are fully operational before January 31st.

Commenting on the all-island dimension of the new NI Executive’s task Angela McGowan CBI NI Director said: “Many companies across Northern Ireland have operated all-island businesses for over 20 years now.  As a result, they have enjoyed higher growth, greater efficiencies, a larger customer base and enjoyed access to a wider pool of suppliers.  The clear benefits of the all-island economy must be protected and built upon.  The CBI along with Ibec look forward to working with the New Executive and the respective institutions through our Joint Business Council to ensure all-island issues ranging from infrastructure to climate change remain at the top of their agenda."

Fergal O’Brien, Ibec Director of Policy and Public Affairs added: “The business community is eager to work with the Executive and institutions to address the very significant challenges now facing the all island economy. Collectively we must ensure that investment and trade across the island is protected and supported in the context of ongoing Brexit uncertainty. We must also ramp up the delivery of much needed infrastructure to improve connectively which will help underpin the all island economy.”