Editorial: The Brexit vote is long over – the consequences are not so why is that not apparent?
Since its inception BBB has been harnessing and publishing analysis, facts and reports relating to the effect of Brexit on the island of Ireland. We’ve also been reflecting business concerns about the lack of information, and sources of information. Tariff and customs potential in particular are causing distress on both sides of the border. Just this weekend Manufacturing NI spelt out concerns among northern manufacturers about the lack of planning and detail. There is a real threat as represented by this interview with David Davis on Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show , which swerved from a frictionless Irish border to a cliff edge fall if MP’s reject whatever deal emerges. That will create a cliff edge through the middle of Ireland.
So what preparations are being made in Northern Ireland for either option or anything in between? We have already highlighted the shortage of detail on the InvestNI website so lets take a quick look at the Northern Ireland Departments. Sadly we report it doesn’t amount to much. Across the departmental websites there is a total of 23 references, many of them just referring to Brexit in passing. Particularly shocking is the Agriculture Department: it has the most mentions of Brexit at 17 but many are in passing and there are no links to major reports. You can contrast that to the meaty information, reports and speeches on the Scottish Government website, on the Welsh website, and the Dublin government site appears fixated on the issue. Obviously coming from a different direction the UK government has substantial Brexit reference and of course has a Brexit department. As for the Assembly , mentions are largely down to its research service and there are fifteen of them.
The Brexit vote is long over – the consequences are not. People, communities and businesses of Northern Ireland need information and need it now.