Retail NI has urged politicians locally and nationally to redouble their efforts to establish stable Governments in London and Belfast.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“With the General Election out of the way, all the local parties now need to go the extra mile to secure a return to devolution by the end of the month”

“Having no Budget, no Programme for Government and indeed no Government creates political instability which is bad for business confidence and the economy as a whole”

Retail NI has welcomed Belfast City Council’s vote to drop plans to extend Sunday Trading by designating the City with Resort Status. This would have allowed large multinational supermarkets above 3000 sq. ft. to open all day for 18 Sundays per year.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts, who presented to the Council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee this morning said:

Retail NI has expressed concern at proposals in the Labour Party manifesto, published today, to increase Corporation Tax and introduce a £10 minimum wage.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This manifesto has some positive policy priorities such as big increases in investment in infrastructure, skills and pledging not to increase National Insurance contributions for our members”

Retail NI has issued a reminder to consumers and businesses to be aware that the old paper Bank of England £5 note will be withdrawn from circulation this Friday 5th May and will be replaced with the new polymer £5 note that features Sir Winston Churchill.

 Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“2017 has seen big changes in our notes and coins, with the new £1 coin being introduced in March and now the old paper Bank of England £5 note being replaced with the new polymer version”

Retail NI has in its submission to Belfast City Council opposed any move to water down the current Sunday Trading laws. The Council was consulting on designating Belfast as a resort status, which would have relaxed Sunday trading laws, allowing large Supermarkets to open all day on eighteen Sundays per year

The current law states that shops over three thousand square feet can only open from 1pm.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

During the month of April nineteen years ago, people across Northern Ireland were presented with an amazing agreement which would deliver a path for peace and prosperity in the years ahead. That Agreement won overwhelming support in a referendum one month later.  The business community and civic society are united in our gratitude to the UK and Irish governments of that time and of course international support from President Bill Clinton and Senator George Mitchell.

Retail Excellence and Retail Northern Ireland will today jointly present to the Oireachtas Committee on the Good Friday Agreement on the impact of Brexit on the industry.

Lorraine Higgins Head of Public Affairs and Communications at Retail Excellence said "This is a great opportunity to articulate the significant challenges facing the retail industry on the island of Ireland now that Article 50 has been triggered and I would like to thank the Chairperson of the Committee for inviting us to discuss these issues. 

Retail NI has described today’s publications of the EU Repeal Bill White Paper as an opportunity to remove and amend EU regulations and directives that restrict the business growth of independent retailers and small businesses owners.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“In a recent Retail NI survey a staggering 79% of members told us that compliance with excessive regulation is the biggest challenge to their business. Many of these regulations originate from the EU and will now be ‘cut and pasted’ into UK law via the Great Repeal Bill”

“During the course of this Bill through Parliament we should have an opportunity to amend or remove those EU regulations that are restricting business growth”

Retail NI has given its reaction to the triggering of Article 50 and called upon the ongoing talks on restoring devolution to include the establishment of a NI Assembly Brexit Committee to scrutinise the Brexit process and to take evidence from key sectors of civic society.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Retail is Northern Ireland’s largest sector of the economy and our members on the border and many other areas have real concerns for the future post Brexit”