Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has challenged the HMRC this morning on its failure to actively engage with local businesses on preparing for life after Brexit, and has called on it to urgently make education and training resources available as soon as possible.
The Brexit Spokesperson said:
“It is becoming increasingly clear the border arrangements HMRC are putting in place for goods shipping between Britain and the north of Ireland will be almost identical to the system currently being developed for goods moving between Britain and France through the port of Dover.
“Yet unlike British businesses who can avail of HMRC’s new £50million Brexit training academy to help prepare for this new trading environment, businesses in the north are being ignored once again by the British Government.
“HMRC must urgently address this lack of constructive engagement with our local business community and establish tangible training opportunities to help guide local businesses when it comes to preparing for the significant changes to trade in the very near future.
“The message from local business representatives has been crystal clear in recent weeks.
“They don’t believe they are being listened to. They don’t believe there is enough time to make the necessary changes to their business model. And they believe it’s sensible to agree an extension to the transition period to give them a fighting chance of coping with the severe economic shocks of COVID19 and Brexit in tandem.
“HMRC and the British Government must not leave local businesses behind any longer.
“With only 6 months until the transition expires it’s time to stop pretending these new border systems and processes will not apply in the Irish Sea and help our local businesses upskill and prepare urgently.”