As secretariat to the UK Trade and Business Commission, Best for Britain has been leading the inquiry on the effects of leaving the EU on communities and businesses across the UK.
Established just under a year ago, the cross-party Commission was born into a time of remote meetings and social distancing, bringing together industry leaders and MPs over Zoom to hear representatives and experts give evidence on the far-reaching impacts of Brexit. In the second year of the Commission’s life however, instead of having witnesses come to us, we wanted to take our Commissioners to witnesses, and see for themselves exactly how Brexit is affecting them.
Our first ‘Seeing is Believing’ site visit of this kind took place last week in Northern Ireland. While the eyes of the world are understandably elsewhere right now, we thought it was important to go ahead with the visit as promised and to speak to businesses large and small about the challenges and opportunities facing them since 1st January 2021.
On the ground, our commissioners met a number of businesses throughout the visit to discuss the key issues - from Brexit red tape, to delays at borders and the rising costs facing Northern Ireland consumers. We met a cafe owner in East Belfast, went to a supermarket distribution centre, and finished the day with a meeting and live evidence sessions bringing together business community leaders spanning a number of key sectors, from manufacturing and dairy, to logistics and food.
This visit was about gathering evidence to increase the Commission’s understanding of the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol in practice, with the ultimate aim of providing evidence-based recommendations to both UK and EU negotiators in the hope that an agreement can reached that works for both sides, and in particular the people and businesses of Northern Ireland.
<[link removed]>Read more about the trip <[link removed]>
There is a long road left to travel until we can build a trading environment that works for all businesses across the UK, including those facing particular challenges in Northern Ireland, but rest assured we will never stop working to highlight the consequences of poor policy-making, and we will not stop going on about Brexit - because it simply isn’t working. And it’s up to the Government to make it work.
We know that with your support, we’ll be holding them to account for a lot longer.
Head of External Affairs, Best for Britain
P.S. In order to keep standing up for a better Britain, we do need all the funds we can get. If you are in a position to spare anything, please do consider donating to us or even becoming a regular supporter <[link removed]>.
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