Pope calls for urgent funding for Brexit impact on border businesses

Alliance Banbridge Councillor Brian Pope has called for central government funding to be made available for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council to undertake urgent assessments on the potential impact of Brexit on local businesses.

Councillor Pope said the fact the Council area shared a “substantial length of border” with the south meant it should be funded to undertake studies to assess the impact will have on traffic movements and businesses there.

“The Department of Infrastructure and other Departments are currently undertaking assessments and making preparations for various Brexit outcomes. However, any potential changes to trade operations and transportation in the border area needs to be assessed at Council level to ensure adequate local government processes and systems are in place.

“We must protect the interests of local businesses. Therefore, as an absolute minimum we require infrastructure and customs impact assessments for each business sector in our area, including the agri-food, advanced manufacturing, engineering, construction and tourism sectors.

“We will also be engaging with council officers to ensure better local preparation for a potential no-deal Brexit.

“At this time of Brexit uncertainty, and with the very real risk of a disastrous no-deal Brexit, it is imperative adequate planning and provisions are put in place to protect businesses in the ABC Council area.”