May backed by Northern Ireland business leaders

The DUP have been urged to back British Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan after business leaders in Northern Ireland warned that a no-deal Brexit would be “catastrophic”.

A delegation of around 50 representatives met the PM in Downing Street to set out their concerns. Major employers were represented in London, including farmers, pharmaceutical companies, retailers and those in the hospitality industry.

Angela McGowan, Director of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Northern Ireland said the meeting brought many business stakeholders together, with everyone hoping for a comprehensive trade agreement that, “protects jobs, trade, investment & ensures no hard border.”

Seamus Leheny, Policy Manager for the Freight Transport Association NI added that all business leaders and representatives in the discussion room agreed the current deal is “needed”, and later ‘Tweeted’: “PM assured us economic prosperity is a realistic outcome for NI from Brexit.”

Following the hour-long talks with them in No. 10, Theresa May thanked those for supporting her Brexit plan. In a statement afterwards, the prime minister said their voices were, “incredibly important”.

It comes as the DUP have repeatedly expressed their lack of support for the deal, with the party’s leader, Arlene Foster conducting talks on Wednesday 21 with NI business leaders, including David Boyd from Rockabill NI Ltd.

Foster later stated on Twitter: “Real worry about impact of draft Withdrawal Agreement on their industries.”