Northern Ireland Protocol credited for helping to create 1,000 new jobs

Northern Ireland Protocol credited for helping to create 1,000 new jobs

The protocol, according to the Deputy First Minister, is to thank for Almac’s announcement that it will hire 1,000 people because it has dual market access.

In the next three years, the Almac Group, a Craigavon-based pharmaceutical development and production company, plans to hire 1,800 people worldwide, 1,000 of whom will be in Northern Ireland.

The development, according to Ms O’Neill, demonstrates the benefits of the protocol’s dual access, which allows Northern Ireland firms to sell without limits in both the UK internal market and the EU single market.

Almac, which was participating in clinical studies for Covid-19 vaccines last year, promotes the protocol’s “seamless, uninterrupted, and flexible” dual market access on its website.

Ms. O’Neill stated that the announcement had given the local economy a much-needed boost.

“The Almac announcement today is a very positive announcement in what is quite a challenging time for our economy because of the pandemic and because of the outworking of Brexit,” she said.

“So I think it’s very clear from the Almac statement today that they are benefiting from the protocol that they’re able to announce over 1,000 jobs to be created here. That’s a huge boost for us. So I very much welcome that.

“But that’s what the protocol does for us, it actually gives us that opportunity to have access to both markets.

“And Almac is a really good case in point of how it actually is working. So let’s find solutions and let’s create stability. Let’s have more announcements like the Almac announcement.”

The DUP praised the employment creation, but did not mention the protocol as a cause.

“This investment is crucial for the Upper Bann area,” said Upper Bann MLA Diane Dodds. It’s encouraging to see local firms flourish and create job possibilities for Northern Ireland graduates and workers.

“We are proud to have a world-leading company on our doorstep. Almac has played a significant role in the development of the Covid-19 vaccine and many other lifesaving medicines. I welcome the opportunities that this announcement will bring to many young graduates.”

The new positions encompass operational, supervisory, and management responsibilities, and they are open to both recent graduates and seasoned professionals.

NI business

Brexit causes NI business to stall

A report has found that business growth, investment and recruitment plans are at risk in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry and business advisers BDO recently published their Quarter 2 Economic Survey. This report on the current business climate found that one in four NI businesses are reconsidering their future. Firms are worried about the future value of sterling. Many have revised plans to grow, invest or recruit because of June’s shock Brexit vote. Read more


Taoiseach Kenny prosposes all-Ireland Brexit forum and is rebuffed by NI’s Arlene Foster

Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s proposed all-Ireland forum to mitigate the negative effects of Brexit has met with a frosty reception from Northern Ireland First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster.

Foster has said that such a forum is unnecessary. She was in Dublin this Monday with members of the Northern Executive to attend a meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council (NSMC). The council discusses areas of common interest between the Republic and Northern Ireland and promotes co-operation between the two governments. Read more

budget airline

EasyJet to fly away from the UK?

EasyJet, the UK budget airline, may need to move company headquarters to a European city in response to last month’s shock Brexit result.

The airline has applied for an air operator certificate from the European Union to continue using EU air routes if and when the UK formally withdraws from the block. Read more


Brexit: threats and opportunities for the Republic and Northern Ireland

The UK’s shock Brexit result has created economic and political turmoil in Britain, with ramifications around the world. As it became clear that a slim majority of the British electorate had chosen to leave the EU, the value of the pound plummeted. David Cameron stepped down, and it wasn’t long before the knives were out for Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, who lost a vote of no confidence motion from the Parliamentary Labour Party. Read more