Source: UK Government
Northern Ireland businesses welcome UK Internal Market Bill as a further step to protecting Northern Ireland trading relationships in the UK market
Coherent legal framework guarantees UK companies will trade unhindered in every part of the UK
Bill passed House of Lords Second Reading and moved to Committee Stage on Monday
Major business figures from across Northern Ireland have today shared their support for the UK Internal Market Bill (UKIM) as it passed its House of Lords Second Reading last Tuesday and moved to Committee Stage on Monday.
Business Leaders from Northern Ireland businesses including Sliderobes Group, Moore Concrete Products and Cross Refrigeration have called the Internal Market Bill a ‘welcome move’ to protect Northern Ireland trade and jobs from 1 January 2021.
The UK Internal Market Bill was introduced on 9 September 2020 and will guarantee that, from the end of the Transition Period, companies can continue to trade with the rest of the UK. Provisions within the UKIM Bill will ensure that businesses based in Northern Ireland will have ‘unfettered access’ to the rest of the United Kingdom, as set out in the New Decade, New Approach agreement.
For centuries, shared prosperity has been the cornerstone of the UK Internal Market and maintaining this integrated market is precisely what the UKIM Bill will deliver by ensuring the free flow of capital, labour, goods and services; providing certainty for businesses and consumers across the UK.
On 1 January 2021, powers previously held by the EU, will flow directly back to Stormont, Holyrood and the Senedd thereby giving them greater control and influence than they ever had while the UK was inside the EU. The Bill will protect the Union whilst safeguarding the devolved administrations’ right to regulate as they do now.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, said:
“I am delighted to hear major voices from the Northern Ireland business community share their support for the UK Internal Market Bill.
“More than half of Northern Ireland’s external trade is with the rest of the UK so it is imperative that Northern Ireland continues to have unfettered access to the whole of the UK market at the end of the Transition Period. The Bill will provide legal certainty and ensure the continued prosperity of people and businesses within Northern Ireland.”
Speaking in support of the UK Internal Market Bill:
Mervyn McCall, Chairman, Sliderobes Group Ltd
”We’re a bespoke fitted wardrobe company, with a customer base from across Northern Ireland and beyond. Most of our trade is with GB clients so it is crucial that from 1st January 2021 we continue to protect our trading relationship with the rest of the UK market. The UK Internal Market Bill is therefore a welcome move to guarantee this for us and for other businesses trading with GB.”
Mr Wilbert Moore, Managing Director, Moore Concrete Products Ltd
”We’re a construction company based in Northern Ireland and with customers from across the UK. I’m delighted with how ourselves and so many businesses around us have gone from strength to strength over the past number of years, taking full advantage of trade with the rest of the UK. Northern Ireland is on track to become a true power house in the UK economy and the UK Internal Market Bill is crucial to ensure we continue along this path.”
Andrew Nesbitt, Managing Director, Cross Refrigeration
“Cross Group sold its first ice box in the 1920s, and from there we’ve grown into a diversified and dynamic enterprise with an annual turnover of over £70m. Whilst on that growth journey, having unfettered access to the rest of the UK market was essential for us. Looking to the future, we want to see unfettered access guaranteed by the Internal Market Bill and in doing so protect our jobs, trade and prosperity for years to come.”
In September, the UK Government also launched its Trader Support Service portal – a free, optional service available to all traders moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and importing goods into Northern Ireland from the rest of the world. Businesses are encouraged to sign up now to access full guidance and support on the next steps to take ahead of 1st January 2021.