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London jobs at risk due to Northern Ireland Bill

Wednesday 7 December 2022

Richard Burge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), delivered a speech today at the Irish Embassy in London that focussed on the urgency of protecting the Good Friday Agreement and the need to find practical solutions to the current dispute on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The London Chamber CEO warned that if the Bill leads to a trade war between the United Kingdom and the European Union, this could be the final straw for a number of London businesses who are trying to recover from the pandemic and the effects of Putin’s war in Ukraine.

In his speech, Mr Burge discussed economic safety among other key principles which underpin the need for a strong relationship between Northern Ireland, the UK, and the European Union, recognising that London and Dublin are critical to bringing an end to months of diplomatic discord. Mr Burge’s speech recognised what the London Chamber considers to be fatal flaws in the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill and urged the UK Government to avoid sleep walking into a trade war with our largest trading partner.

In the speech, Mr Burge underlined three critical points that London’s business community demands the Government heed:

  1. The protection and respect of peace and security which has been brought by the Good Friday Agreement.
  2. The UK Government must recognise that the current status quo is not the final form of the UK- EU relationship and that practical solutions are needed for a better partnership going forward.
  3. Both the UK and EU should follow the example set by Chambers of Commerce – and businesses – throughout Europe who are constantly looking to build and nurture cross-border relationships that can yield prosperity and peace.

Richard Burge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said:

“The relationship between London and Dublin is hugely important and facilitates fantastic business, cultural and academic ties. However, the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill casts shadows and doubts over this relationship and threatens trade and prosperity between the countries – and that of the UK and the whole of the European Union.

“If the current trajectory continues, there is a very real prospect of the UK sleepwalking into a trade war with the European Union – our largest trading partner by far – and for what gain? The impact on London, which provides over 20% towards UK GDP, could be profound.

“The London Chamber urges the Government not to sacrifice 25 years of peace and prosperity and start working towards real solutions that go beyond the petty political posturing of recent Governments.”

Read the speech in full here.

ENDS