Northern Ireland

Boris Johnson meeting Trade NI to discuss Vision 2030 plan

trade ni Image copyright PA
Image caption Trade NI are meeting the prime minister following a Vision 2030 event at the House of Commons

Northern Ireland business leaders met the prime minister at a reception in Downing Street on Wednesday.

Speaking to BBC News NI before the event, Stephen Kelly from Manufacturing NI said they would raise concerns about a no-deal Brexit with Boris Johnson.

Earlier, a new group representing NI businesses launched Vision 2030 - a 10-year plan that aims to bring 65,000 new jobs in Northern Ireland by 2030.

Trade NI was formed by Hospitality Ulster, Manufacturing NI and Retail NI.

Mr Kelly said leaving without a deal would have a "devastating effect" on Northern Ireland.

"We want to make sure that the PM is very clear, that the commitment he has given to Northern Ireland is that we will leave on a deal," he said.

"All evidence shows that leaving on no-deal in NI in our context, with our history, with our unique geography and indeed our unique economy- it would have devastating effects."

Mr Kelly added that the business group wanted the prime minister to "tell us that he wants to leave on a deal and, secondly, make sure that he knows that the voices of business in Northern Ireland are there with him to ensure he actually delivers that deal".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The group said they want to transform Northern Ireland into an "ecosystem of innovation"

Trade NI said it was contradcerned about the increased cost of doing business and the complexities created by Brexit uncertainty as well as the two-year hiatus of the assembly and executive at Stormont.

In a statement, the group said: "Northern Ireland is facing a huge challenge as it struggles politically and economically with a growth forecast of around 1% or below.

"This is simply not good enough and we can't sit idly by and let events overtake us."

The group added that it wanted "a reboot of the economic policy of Northern Ireland".

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