Following Marcos Sefcovic’s speech, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said:

Business voices need to be heard loud and clear in the dialogue between the UK Government and the European Commission over the next few weeks. 

The best outcome would be to secure stable and sustainable trading arrangements between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Only a negotiated outcome between the UK and EU will maximize long-term foreign direct investment into Northern Ireland.

Further unilateral actions by either side risk destabilizing the UK Internal Market and business certainty, as well as putting at risk key parts of the EU-UK trading relationship.

With firms focused on getting the economy back on track from the pandemic, the last thing UK businesses need is the risk of 10% tariffs on UK car exports to the EU, or the entire agreement being suspended or even terminated.

Both sides need to reach a balanced agreement soon, focusing on cutting checks for businesses under the Protocol and not disputes about different legal systems which have not been raised by the business community.”