Trade bodies remain positive over Government's DUP deal

By Georgina Townshend contact

- Last updated on GMT

Deal close: trade bodies react to DUP agreement with Conservatives
Deal close: trade bodies react to DUP agreement with Conservatives

Related tags: Executive brigid simmonds, Government

The Government has reached an agreement with the Democratic Union Party (DUP), which will see the party back Theresa May’s minority Government, it was announced yesterday (26 June).

Within the three-page document of the confidence and supply agreement, it states an extra £1bn will be given to Northern Ireland in the next two years, and that the DUP will support the Tories on all Brexit and security legislation.

Within the agreement, it says: “The DUP agrees to support the Government on all motions of confidence; and on the Queen’s speech; the Budget; finance bills, supply and appropriation legislation and estimates.”

It states that support on all other matters will be agreed on a case-by-case basis, however.

Remains positive

At the start of the negotiations between both parties, trade bodies said the move "could be positive for hospitality"​ in principle.

Feelings have largely remained the same. British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “What UK business needs is more certainty and today’s deal should mean that the Government has a working majority in parliament as the Brexit negotiations proceed.” 

On the specifics of what has been agreed, Simmonds said it is positive for pubs that the Government has agreed to review the impact of VAT on tourism in Northern Ireland.

“But it is important to stress that while this has a big impact in Northern Ireland, high rates of VAT on hospitality is very much a UK-wide issue, so we will be looking closely at what emerges,” she said.

Provides more certainty

Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers chief executive Kate Nicholls said the ALMR is looking forward to working alongside the new Government “at this incredibly important time”.

About the deal, she said: “The working majority with the DUP includes Brexit within its scope, which is reassuring because it campaigned on a manifesto that called for a soft Brexit.

“This is a potential positive for operators, who largely favour trade and employment deals with the EU on the ‘softer’ end of the scale.”

However, she warned that there were downsides too, as policy issues could become “political footballs”.

“That creates a situation where populist policy stances are favoured over a more considered approach,” she said.

Related topics: Legislation

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