The EU 's proposals to break the deadlock on the Northern Ireland The Brexit protocol went "beyond the expectations " of local businesses who say the bloc has listened to their demands and found solutions.
They say the promise to get rid of most of the checks for British food and goods entering Northern Ireland and customs formalities could form the basis of an agreement.
Seamus Leheny, Policy Officer of the Logistics UK trade association en Northern Ireland, said if an agreement could be reached between the UK and the EU, Northern Ireland would find itself in a "win-win situation". He added: "In a way, they exceeded some of our expectations." of the European Court of Justice as final arbitrator in commercial disputes. But they said it wasn 't a priority for local businesses.
"It wasn ' t been a topic of discussion," said Aodhan Connolly, Director of Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, while Leheny said "not a single member raised the issue ".
Connolly said that it was clear that the EU had listened to the demands of business stakeholders and moved on from its position in the summer when it was said the protocol was not negotiable .
"It was a clear move away from the EU even at the start of the summer, ”said Connolly, but added that the proposals would be tested sector by sector before the consortium released. its final analysis.
"Some of the proposed solutions help to meet these tests to some extent. However, we will reserve our judgment until we have seen legal and technical texts.
"There is hope that there may be a landing zone ", a- he said, warning of the serious obstacles that remained. "Let’s not fall until we reach the finish line.
Leheny is one of the many reps on a Brexit working group which met the British Brexit negotiator,David Frost, and European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič in recent weeks. He said the proposals looked almost like a carbon copy of their demands.
"What this shows is that the EU has listened to us . They want the protocol to work. It is most encouraging. But what we are asking now is that the UK government and the EU urgently work on this and get a deal.
Glyn Roberts, managing director of Retail NI, which represents independent supermarkets and corner stores, said he was optimistic a deal could be shaped from the UK and EU proposals.
"I hope we can cut down on megaphone diplomacy and can join the two series of proposals that will give us an unrestricted east-west, north-south trade but also access to the seaunique check. "
Its members have been hit hard by the demands affecting what in the trade is called" consolidation "transport, which involves truck drivers carrying shipments from multiple sources to multiple destinations. Under the original protocol each shipment required documents, but according to the proposals, only one document for the entire truck load would be required.
"I have had independent retailers, delicatessens, who have not been able to access their products," he said.
"Ultimately, it's about hard-working families not to pay more for their food and have the full range available in their local stores and online. . "
Stephen Kelly, Managing Director of Manufacturing NI, also welcomed the EU 's proposals and urged the UK to workler in the interest of the people of the region rather than in political ideology.
"We recognize that the ECJ is about the purity of Brexit for the UK, but with regards to Northern Ireland exporters sending products to the EU this is beneficial and we see the benefit of having frictionless market access unique, "he said.
Kelly said a member who was selling in the EU had reported" booming "business since Brexit and told him he could 'triple his business next year' if he could meet demand.
Although companies seem indifferent to the ECJ, its role remains a problem for local trade union leaders, with Democratic Unionist MP Sammy Wilson telling BBC Radio's Good Morning Ulster that the vast majority of companies do not trade with the EU, so therole of the ECJ as arbitrator in commercial disputes was not necessary.
"There is no need for controls except for goods departing from Northern Ireland. And don't forget, only 4% of our sales go to the EU, and only 5% of our businesses actually trade with the EU, ”Wilson said.