The DUP, SDLP and Alliance have jointly suggested changes to the Government’s Brexit legislation. A legal guarantee is wanted from the parties to ensure Northern Ireland businesses will have “unfettered access” to the rest of the UK. Changes to the Brexit legislation are being backed by twelve Northern Irish business organisations.
The organisations recently met with the region’s political parties .
Northern Ireland’s Retail Consortium’s Aodhán Connolly chaired the meeting.
He described the joint approach of the parties and business groups as “unprecedented”.
Mr Connolly told the BBC: “Businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and they must be allowed to operate without undue hindrance to ensure they can continue to serve the region, create jobs and support our families.
“That is why we have come together to seek changes to the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill that we believe will protect Northern Ireland’s place in the UK internal market.”
He added it would provide a guarantee of “equitable and unfettered access” to the market for both exporters and importers.
Mr Conolly claimed: “These changes do not seek to undo the will of Parliament in leaving the EU, merely to protect our economy and our households.”
MPs will continue to debate the legislation on Tuesday.
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The recent attempts to amend the Government’s Brexit bill comes as MPs return to Parliament this week.
Despite the efforts from the parties, amendments will still need government support to pass.
Given the large Conservative majority after the general election, Mr Johnson’s deal could be voted through the commons with ease.
The DUP opposed the current deal as it will see the region remain aligned to EU rules and regulations once the UK leaves the bloc after the transition period.
Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay caused uproar from the Northern Irish parties and businesses late last year after saying goods travelling from east to west would require declaration forms to be filled out, while some further checks could also be needed.
Labour has also tabled an amendment demanding the Government publish an economic impact assessment of the effect of the Brexit deal on Northern Ireland’s economy.