A year after the U.K. left the European Union, the majority of manufacturing firms in Northern Ireland say they are managing or no longer experiencing a negative impact from the protocol dealing with the region.
A survey by Manufacturing NI showed more than two thirds of respondents experienced no impact from the current customs arrangements, are on top issues they face or see issues being resolved soon.
The agreement relates to the deal Britain struck as it left the European Union that effectively puts a customs border in the Irish Sea. That’s become a political flash-point with the government in London, which is attempting to negotiate changes to the deal.
Less than a quarter of respondents, or 24%, said they’re still struggling with the protocol, down from 41% in July and April. The latest survey was conducted from Jan. 6-12. Almost 17% of manufacturers said they experienced a positive effect from the arrangement in 2021.
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Even so, more than half complained about the lack of detail and time or insufficient preparation and willingness of suppliers in Great Britain to deal with the formalities. One in five would like the protocol replaced, consistent with previous surveys.