NI Businesses Urged To Check Their 'Preparedness For The End Of Transition'

Businesses across Northern Ireland are being urged to check their preparedness for the end of the Brexit transition period.

Making the call after she joined the agendaNi Annual Northern Ireland Economic Conference, Economy Minister Diane Dodds said: "We must do all we can to be ready for the end of the year but also be ready to respond to emerging issues that arise from January 2021. I realise that many businesses are facing difficulties due to the ongoing talks between the EU and the UK. We do need clarity on a number of issues including most importantly the terms of trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

"It is my hope that both our national government and the EU would recognise the need for flexibility in coming months. I am also calling for a grace period for Northern Ireland businesses at the end of the transition period as a common sense and fair approach to the changing trading circumstances."

Later in the day the Minister took part in the keynote address recorded for a webinar event today organised by InterTradeIreland entitled 'Managing Brexit together: trading goods cross-border'.
News Image
The event provided practical advice to small and medium sized businesses, advised them to take action and reminded businesses of the range of supports on offer.

InterTradeIreland's quarterly All-island Business Monitor shows that at the end of Q3, just 9% of firms in Northern Ireland had a plan in place for the end of the Transition period.

The Minister said: "While the UK as a whole is leaving the European Union, the Northern Ireland Protocol means that businesses in Northern Ireland can continue to trade in goods across the border with ease.

"There are of course also changes ahead for Northern Ireland firms as they adjust to the new trading relationships between the UK and the EU. The aim is to make the changes as seamless as possible for firms so that they are able to continue to benefit from the trading relationships and markets that have built up over time."

The Minister added: "Even for those firms who do not consider themselves importers or exporters, it is important to take the time to more thoroughly consider your supply chains. Speak to your buyers and suppliers to understand their preparedness, and the impact of market access changes on those purchases and sales."

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

21 July 2021
Infrastructure Minister Backs Call To Urgently Reduce Water Usage
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has reiterated a call for urgent action on reducing water usage in an effort to protect supplies as the Met Office issues the first ever amber warning for extreme heat in Northern Ireland. She is also calling on everyone to consider if journeys are necessary given the potential for transport disruption.
26 July 2021
Economy Minister Urged To Take Advantage Of Special Economic Circumstances
The Economy Minister must act to take advantage of the special economic circumstances the protocol affords businesses in the north.
26 July 2021
Minister Hopeful Of Some Olympic Golds For NI
The Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has wished local athletes taking part in the Tokyo Olympics every success as the games get underway. The Minister said: "To be an Olympian and represent your country at the Olympic Games is an amazing sporting achievement.
22 July 2021
'Vital Work' Of Samaritans Volunteers Praised By Health Minister
Health Minister Robin Swann has praised the "vital work" of Samaritans volunteers to support those in need, during a visit to a centre in Coleraine. The visit took place ahead of Samaritans Awareness Day 24/7, which takes place every year on 24 July.
23 July 2021
Environment Minister Joins Call For Water Conservation
The Environment Minister Edwin Poots has joined ongoing calls for people to help protect water supplies, urging people to be "smarter with the water they use while at home during this current dry spell, and to only use water for the areas it is needed; hygiene, hydration and household chores".