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Direct Rule Must Be Avoided Say Business Organisations

Hospitality Ulster, Retail NI and Manufacturing NI have today jointly hosted a roundtable meeting, focusing on the economy, with the new Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Smith MP. 

The Chief Executives of the three organisations, Colin Neill, Glyn Roberts and Stephen Kelly in a joint statement said:

“The three sectors that we represent are the largest in Northern Ireland employ tens of thousands of workers with a turnover of billions to the local economy”

“Growing our retail, hospitality and manufacturing sectors is essential for the future of Northern Ireland and its economy”

“We had an excellent meeting with the Shadow Secretary of State, addressing issues such as Brexit, VAT and City Deals for Belfast and Derry. It is important that the Labour Party continues to hold the Government to account and also sets out its alternative policy platform for the Northern Ireland economy”

“Our respective members are deeply frustrated at the continual deadlock at Stormont and are concerned that Direct Rule is a likely prospect. While Devolution was never perfect, it was considerably better having locally elected and accountable Ministers in place”

Owen Smith MP, Shadow Secretary for Northern Ireland said:

"Businesses in Northern Ireland are clear that it wants to see the Executive up and running ASAP.  They are right that locally based and accountable politicians are best to take decisions about economic development.

The parties and two Governments must now redouble their efforts to bring about restoration of the devolved institutions to give a voice to Northern Ireland's Business community and its citizens during the Brexit negotiations and beyond."