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12 March 2019

Meaningful vote defeat further heightens uncertainty

Following the Government defeat in the meaningful vote on the Withdrawal Agreement, FSB NI Head of External Affairs, Roger Pollen said this has further heightened uncertainty and reinforces the need for a devolved Assembly and Executive to input into the Brexit process.

Commenting, FSB NI Head of External Affairs, Roger Pollen said:

“During the debate in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister made several references to the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive and the role that they would have as the Brexit process plays out.

“The Government defeat on the meaningful vote, has further heightened uncertainty, with the next steps now unclear, as more votes are planned for the coming days.

“Regardless of the ever changing circumstances which Brexit brings, it is clear that an Assembly and Executive would have a key role during the transition period to decide whether the backstop would need to be introduced, or in the event of a no-deal scenario for purposes of emergency decision making. Unfortunately, the devolved institutions continue to be missing in action, with no talks process ongoing to restore them.

“For small businesses, they just want to know what economic environment they will face after March 29. A cliff-edge Brexit is in no one’s interest, so despite tonight’s setback an agreement must be reached to avoid it.”