Brexit: DUP ‘working to mitigate’ impact of no-deal


Jeffrey Donaldson

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Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the DUP was not advocating a no-deal Brexit

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has said it is working with the government on how to mitigate any short-term effects of a no-deal Brexit.

It follows a Department for the Economy report that claimed the UK leaving the EU without a deal could put 40,000 jobs at risk in Northern Ireland.

Many jobs could “disappear almost overnight” in industries such as agri-food and haulage, says the report.

It warns of “immediate and severe consequences” for NI’s competiveness.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP MP for Lagan Valley, said his party recognised that in the short term in a no-deal scenario there “could well be a potential impact on our local economy”.

“We’re talking to the government about how we can mitigate any such impact in the short term and that is what we want to do,” he said.

He added that while his party was keen to reduce any potential negative effect on Northern Ireland jobs it was not advocating a no-deal Brexit.

“We are advocating a Brexit with a deal and that means getting the withdrawal agreement approved by Parliament,” he said.

“To do that we know the issue that needs to be addressed is the backstop,” he added.

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The report says many jobs could “disappear almost overnight” in industries such as agri-food and haulage

The report warns that exports to the Republic of Ireland could fall by between 11% and 19%.

That includes the “significant danger” that most north-to-south agri-food trade would stop.

“The impact of EU tariffs and non-tariff barriers will mean that whatever the Irish government or the EU may do or not do, many businesses will no longer be able to export to the Irish market,” states the report.

‘Border impact’

The department said it had produced the report as it had recently been asked about the statistics it holds on the implications of no deal.

It includes an analysis of how the UK government’s no-deal policies on tariffs and the border will affect Northern Ireland.

The UK has said it will not impose any checks or tariffs on goods from the Republic of Ireland entering Northern Ireland.

The report says it is a “reasonable assumption” that tariffs will apply to goods going the other way, in line with EU law.

The government will also apply a temporary tariff regime for at all other UK borders which reduces the majority of tariffs to zero.

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