Trade NI Issue Plea For Stormont Deal

A coalition of business bodies has called on Northern Ireland's political parties to reach agreement and "do the deal", as negotiations to restore power-sharing continue.

Three months since the tragic murder of journalist Lyra McKee, Trade NI- which is made up of Retail NI, Hospitality Ulster and Manufacturing NI- said the political talks are reaching a critical phase in the bid to reestablish devolution.

A fresh round of negotiations was launched in the wake of a night of dissident republican rioting in L'Derry which saw the 29-year-old reporter shot dead.

The three organisations represent the majority of private sector employers in the region, and said local ministerial guidance is vital as Northern Ireland navigates Brexit.

CEO's Glyn Roberts, Colin Neill and Stephen Kelly released this joint statement yesterday: "It is now three months since the tragic murder of Lyra McKee and the resulting overwhelming heartfelt pleas from all sections of society for the political parties to get on with concluding a deal.

"Lyra's murder was the catalyst for the current talks process and getting a deal over the line would be the best way to honour her memory.
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"Our elected politicians are there to support the people and the economy. It's time to get back to work. We would ask that all politicians seek progress with an attitude of compromise and recognition of the many challenges our economy and society faces.

"Businesses have an economic right to succeed and be competitive.  These rights will be the greatest guarantee of prosperity and peace in the years ahead."

The business chiefs highlighted massive changes currently facing the world economy, such as climate change, trade wars and the recent report from the Department for the Economy which revealed that up to 40,000 jobs may be lost in Northern Ireland in the event of a 'no deal' Brexit.

"We need local Ministers in place to deal with these huge challenges," they continued.

"Now more than ever we need our political leaders to lead the way with big bold solutions and to make the difficult decisions. Real leaders do not see problems; they seek solutions.

"We want see a Northern Ireland which is an outward looking, confident, tolerant, welcoming and inclusive region that has something to give to the rest of the world.

"Northern Ireland can only achieve this with its own devolved government leading the way and shaping a prosperous future for all."


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