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Business: Northern Ireland

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 21st January 2019.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the effect on business confidence in Northern Ireland of the backstop provisions in the Government's proposed EU Withdrawal Agreement.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

The Northern Ireland Protocol guarantees that even in the event that the UK’s future relationship with the EU is not in place by the end of the implementation period, there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and no splitting of the UK’s customs territory. In so doing, the agreement preserves the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom, upholds the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, and ensures people and businesses that rely on an open border between Northern Ireland and Ireland can continue living their lives and operating as they do now.

Northern Ireland’s business community, in particular, has been very supportive of the deal. More than 93% of Manufacturing Northern Ireland members back this deal, as do other business and farming representative bodies such as the Federation of Small Business, the Institute of Directors and the Ulster Farmers’ Union.

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