Government must honour UK internal market commitments to NI hauliers

DUP Infrastructure Spokesman and MLA for North Belfast, Phillip Brett, has urged the Government to honour its commitments, by removing barriers to trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

By Phillip Brett MLA

Belfast North

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Mr Brett’s comments follow meeting with Nichola Mallon, Head of Trade and Devolved Policy at Logistics UK.

Phillip said, “Today’s meeting with Logistics UK was a useful opportunity to speak with the representative body for many local Haulage companies and discuss their concerns around the impact on their industry by the NI Protocol.

No one can be under any illusion of the difficulties created by the NI Protocol for east-west trade. Indeed, in recent evidence given to a House of Lords Committee, a major local haulage firm stated that the rigorous implementation of the Protocol would bring GB to NI trade “to its knees” within 48 hours.

Already by November 2022, over 2.2 million customs declarations had been processed for the trade of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland by the Trader Support Service, at considerable cost to taxpayers and businesses. It is crucial that the Government listens and acts on the very valid concerns which have been brought to them by our freight and haulage industry.

The Government has made clear commitments on many occasions to protect and strengthen the UK internal market, including in both its own Command Paper and the New Decade New Approach agreement. It is now time for them to honour those commitments.

The Protocol needs to be replaced by arrangements that restore Northern Ireland’s place in the U.K. internal market, respecting both the constitutional and economic integrity of our United Kingdom.”

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