Northern Ireland’s Economy Minister is urging the UK government to ease its tensions Post-Brexit rules That threatens the competitiveness of the regional aerospace industry by forcing companies to pay taxes on raw materials imported from the UK.
Diane Dodds highlighted the growing concerns of aerospace companies in a recent letter to Lord David Frost, Cabinet Secretary in charge of post-Brexit trade deals, and urged him to ” ensure that the competitive position of Northern Ireland firms in the UK’s internal market is not compromised ”by the imposition of tariffs.
According to the Northern Ireland protocol, which sets the terms for the region’s post-Brexit trade, raw materials transported by aerospace companies from Great Britain to Northern Ireland are identified as being “at risk” to be shipped in. EU.
That means the importer has to pay taxes on the raw materials as soon as they enter Northern Ireland or Ireland, the cost can be up to £ 14 million a year according to ADS, the UK trade agency represents for most 90 aerospace companies employing more than 10,000 people in Northern Ireland.
Actual tariffs are eventually reimbursed, but ADS says administrative costs can reach £ 65 million annually and argues that raw materials should be duty free because they are highly specific and only capable of being used for aerospace, an industry whose Products are generally tax exempt under World Trade Organization regulations.
Dodd’s intervention came when Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC he was still trying to remove what he called “ludicrous barriers” and “unnecessary overhangs” due to the decree. letter given.
Johnson’s continued denial of the realities arising from the protocol since signing in October has caused Disappointed significantly between the EU member states and the European Commission, launched legal action to force the UK to fully implement the agreement.
Neale Richmond, spokesman for Europe’s Fine Gael party of Ireland – a member of the ruling coalition – accused Johnson of implementing “unnecessary” instead of focusing on putting the protocol into action. moving. “Remembering that what Boris Johnson called ludicrously was what he negotiated and ratified himself, the post-Brexit protocol was not a foreign structure,” he added on Twitter.
The committee declined to comment on Johnson’s latest comment, but said it was continuing “technical level”. conversation with the UK on the protocol implementation. Germany’s European Minister, Michael Roth, reiterated on Tuesday that the EU wants the UK to commit a “timed binding for the full implementation of the protocol”.
Northern Ireland’s aerospace industry wants the UK government to use the UK-EU Joint Commission, which oversees the implementation of the UK withdrawal agreement, to agree to a tariff exemption to ” recognizes the tax-free nature of international trade in aircraft parts and allows them to compete on a level playing field, ”said Kevin Craven, ADS Interim Chief Executive Officer.
The current regime, says Craven, “puts companies at a disadvantage against international competitors”.
Northern Ireland has a long-standing economy aerospace cluster Ranging from design to manufacturing, including aircraft seats for many airlines around the world. Spirit AeroSystems of America, took over Bombardier’s Northern Ireland operations last year, was one of the biggest employers and winged for the Airbus A220.
Some manufacturers told the Financial Times that the problem has affected the supply chain. One executive reported recently canceled the contract with a longstanding UK-based supplier of raw materials in favor of an alternative EU solution.
“Northern Ireland needs to get support from [the Republic] and London and I don’t see much effort in London to help with the situation, ”said Conor McCarthy, founder of Dublin Aerospace, one of the Republic’s largest aerospace companies.
“The intensive manufacturing and engineering heritage at NI should be the attraction and the payback for the UK government is to ease their economic burden there with two out of three jobs being government jobs. according to some descriptions. ”
Northern Ireland’s Economy Ministry said the minister had asked the UK government to consider how the tariffs could damage the industry.
“The difficulties this sector has experienced around the world due to Covid-19 are well known. This is also an area where ingredients tend to move between production sites during the manufacturing process, ”it added.