Economy Minister Diane Dodds commented on her meeting with The Rt Hon Lord Frost today.
Speaking after the meeting Minister Dodds said; “I welcome today’s opportunity to speak to Lord Frost as part of an XO Committee meeting on business readiness. It is vital we continue to understand the issues that are impacting our businesses and I was pleased to hear acknowledgement of the concerns on the horizon for the Northern Ireland economy as a direct result of the Protocol. Today’s meeting enabled me to raise directly with Lord Frost many examples of the types of issues being faced by local businesses including the significant cost of paperwork and substantial EU anti-dumping charges.
“The lack of understanding of GB businesses has been a consistent issue raised with me by local companies. As UK Government considers ways to help traders that import or export between GB and EU, it is important that any measures provided to address GB-EU frictions also work to address frictions to trade from GB to NI. In many instances, these are similar frictions to those faced by GB businesses exporting goods to the EU. We do not need tinkering. Permanent and complete solutions are required to minimise such frictions to trade.
“I would like to see further practical steps, and funding, to eliminate GB to NI frictions and support businesses. We must ensure businesses here are not at a disadvantage to those in the rest of the United Kingdom”
In addition to business readiness the committee also addressed issues in regards mutual recognition of professional qualifications. The Minister added: “I welcome UK government plans to prioritise the establishment of bilateral arrangements for the recognition of professional qualifications which support the functioning of the Common Travel Area. These will be important in ensuring our professionals have clear routes to recognition for their qualifications in our most important export market for services.”