Bom­bardier re­veals no-deal prep as PM claims deal is ‘95%’ set­tled

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY MAR­GARET CAN­NING

AEROSPACE gi­ant Bom­bardier, which em­ploys around 4,000 peo­ple in North­ern Ire­land, has said it is ac­tively look­ing at how to mit­i­gate the im­pact of a nodeal Brexit on busi­ness.

Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May yes­ter­day told MPS that “95%” of the terms of a deal have been se­cured but that the bor­der be­tween North­ern Ire­land and the Repub­lic re­mains a stick­ing-point.

A spokes­woman for Bom­bardier — one of North­ern Ire­land’s big­gest em­ploy­ers — said it was mak­ing plans for a no-deal.

“We con­tinue to lobby gov­ern­ment, both di­rectly and through or­gan­i­sa­tions such as our trade body, ADS, and the CBI, to en­sure we leave the EU with min­i­mal dis­rup­tion. We are also ac­tively look­ing at ways to mit­i­gate any im­pact that a ‘no deal’ sce­nario could have on our busi­ness.”

She added: “We are en­gag­ing with our sup­ply chain on con­ti­nu­ity of de­liv­ery and with our trans­port car­ri­ers on con­tin­gency plans.”

The com­pany has said that stock­pil­ing parts to mit­i­gate the im­pact of a no deal Brexit could cost it £30m.

In in­ter­views at the week­end, the Repub­lic’s For­eign Min­is­ter Si­mon Coveney urged busi­ness to speak out on the im­pact of a no-deal.

But CBI NI di­rec­tor An­gela Mcgowan said busi­nesses here had made their views clear.

“North­ern Ir­ish firms have been ab­so­lutely clear from the out­set that ‘no deal’ is the worst pos­si­ble out­come for busi­ness and poses a sig­nif­i­cant threat to the lo­cal econ­omy, to jobs and to com­mu­ni­ties across the re­gion,” she added.

“With pa­tience wear­ing thin, firms are adamant that ne­go­tia­tors must put com­pro­mise and prag­ma­tism first and com­mit to se­cur­ing a With­drawal Agree­ment be­fore De­cem­ber — un­lock­ing the all-im­por­tant tran­si­tion pe­riod that will al­low com­pa­nies to grow, in­vest and, cru­cially, put con­tin­gency plan­ning on hold.”

Mean­while, CBI chair­man Trevor Lock­hart — also the head of North­ern Ire­land agri food firm Fane Val­ley, which is based in Moira — has said he would have to make ma­jor changes to its busi­ness in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Fane Val­ley’s busi­nesses in­clude red meat pro­duc­ers Lin­den Foods and Ket­tyle Ir­ish Foods, as well as White’s Porridge Oats, which has been milled in Tan­dragee, Co Ar­magh for nearly 180 years.

Mr Lock­hart told the Fi­nan­cial Times last week that one mea­sure could in­clude shift­ing its ce­re­als busi­ness to the Repub­lic.

While such a move would be an ex­treme one, he said it could be the only way to get oat­meal and an­i­mal feed into the EU at speed.

“We have done the sce­nario-plan­ning,” he told the FT. “We haven’t trig­gered those con­tin­gen­cies be­cause the po­ten­tial in­vest­ment would be too sig­nif­i­cant.”

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