Tuesday 20 February 2018

NI firm mulls British move over Brexit

Dunbia employs nearly 4,000 people around the globe, including around 1,000 in Dungannon
Dunbia employs nearly 4,000 people around the globe, including around 1,000 in Dungannon

John Mulgrew

ONE of the North's biggest companies is considering moving some of its operations to Britain due to issues around Brexit.

Meat giant Dunbia is based in Co Tyrone but has around 10 sites across the island of Ireland and the UK where it processes red meat.

It's understood the Dungannon-headquartered firm - which employs more than 1,000 staff in the North and almost 4,000 in total - has discussed, at a senior level, moving much of its processing to England and Wales, amid concerns of delays at ports if border controls are introduced.

Much of the company's red meat is shipped from both Dublin and Northern Irish ports, for sale at supermarkets and big businesses across the UK.

It's believed there are concerns over the impact on early-morning ferry crossings from Ireland and delivering meat to its huge large-scale customers - which includes major supermarkets - in the UK.

It's run by brothers Jim and Jack Dobson and has annual sales of around £787m (€925m).

In 2015, the 'Belfast Telegraph' revealed that the company was being put up for sale.

Dunbia did not wish to comment.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank said yesterday that cross-border banks in London looking to shift operations to the eurozone after Britain leaves the European Union should allow at least six months for a new licence.

The ECB is responsible for authorising banks in the single-currency area, with the help of national regulators for small lenders.

Banks in London fear a "hard" Brexit with no access to the bloc's single market after 2019.

They face pressure from regulators to avoid a "cliff edge" or abrupt termination in cross-border customer links, which could unsettle markets.

Authorities expect about 40 large international banking groups, now operating their eurozone business out of London, to move subsidiaries or branches to the 19-member currency bloc.

(Additional reporting Reuters)

Irish Independent

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