Brexit Britain win as Big Four firm shows faith in UK and creates 10,000 new jobs

Brexit: Vicky Pryce warns ‘we have to follow EU regulations’

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The news comes from Big Four giant Deloitte which will buy Belfast based software developer Etain. The move will bring an estimated 10,000 jobs to Northern Ireland at a time Brexit Britain is battling with the EU over the Protocol.

The company is also continuing to invest in regional technology hubs across the rest of the UK, including Bristol, Reading and Edinburgh.

Anne-Marie Malley, managing partner for Consulting at Deloitte told City A.M. that by doubling the size of its AI and data practice, Deloitte will be able to “grow the scale and sophistication of the projects” of the projects it delivers.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson repeated a warning to the European Union on Wednesday, saying London would take action to suspend post-Brexit customs checks on some goods moving to Northern Ireland if the bloc did not show “common sense”.

“We must fix it (the problems with the so-called Northern Ireland protocol) and with goodwill and common sense I believe we can fix it,” he told Parliament.

“But if our friends don’t show the requisite common sense then, of course, we will trigger Article 16,” he said, referring to a clause in the Brexit deal which allows either side to decide to stop implementing parts of the protocol governing trade with Northern Ireland if there are substantial practical problems or trade diversion.

On Tuesday, a Stormont minister has criticised the “huge” operating costs of Northern Ireland Protocol checks as he outlined the multimillion-pound bill for the first year in operation.

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots detailed around £8.65 million of expenditure throughout 2021, but said other costs outside of his department meant the overall total was significantly higher.

Mr Poots, who last week ordered a unilateral halt to the agri-food checks, was responding to a Stormont Assembly question posed by Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister.

A High Court judge has suspended Mr Poots’s direction to stop checks on incoming GB goods pending a full legal challenge into his decision next month.

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Addressing the Assembly on Tuesday, the minister said the salary costs of the additional staff needed to complete the checks at Northern Ireland ports was around £4,447,500. He said that total included almost £1 million on agency staff.

He said the running costs of the checking facilities in Northern Ireland and the service contract for lorry seal checks carried out on the GB side of the Irish Sea totalled £4.2million.

Mr Poots highlighted that local council staff were also involved in the checks and that expenditure was covered through the Food Standards Agency.

He also pointed to £200 million the Government has invested in a Trade Support Service (TSS) to help companies deal with the customs processes required by the protocol.

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“So the costs of the protocol to Northern Ireland is huge,” the minister told the Assembly.

“It’s extensive and you know that is why we need to get solutions. Because nobody realistically can argue that, as the protocol exists, it is good for Northern Ireland. You cannot have this burden placed upon business and this cost placed upon the taxpayer and claim it to be good.”

Mr Poots claims he cannot continue to lawfully conduct the checks without the wider approval of the Stormont Executive.

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