A no-deal exit from the European Union could have a catastrophic effect on Northern Ireland’s business community, and the logistics industry in particular, the Freight Transport Association has warned in its response to a study by the Northern Ireland Civil Service.
Seamus Leheny, the association’s policy manager for Northern Ireland, said: “Northern Ireland’s businesses rely on free access to customers in both the UK and EU, which would be severely curtailed by a No Deal Brexit, and the resulting delays, costs and disruption would render the nation’s businesses less competitive to customers.”
The NICS report estimates that the increased restrictions on trade posed by a no-deal Brexit could result in an economic contraction of £120m per year.
Leheny warned: “With more than 4.8 million freight vehicle movements across the Irish border alone every year, a no-deal outcome to Brexit could have a devastating impact on the trading environment and, in turn, the logistics sector in Northern Ireland, and further afield.
“Our supply chains are complex and interdependent and support every level of the country’s economy, from food production and industrial manufacturing to the supply of medicines. The checks which could be implemented on goods arriving or departing in NI would be hugely disruptive to both businesses awaiting deliveries and to the end users, who will face delays, disruption and rising costs.”