The NIRC, SRC and WRC took part in a discussion with senior officials from the Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland Offices as well as the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The discussion focussed on understanding the impacts on business of diverging lockdown easement policies across the four nations, focusing on the key impacts of those businesses which operate across the UK.

Retail Consortium representatives explained the need for ongoing national support, how a divergence of response to Covid issues was problematic to retailers with a presence in all four nations who continue to support consumers and the economy. We explained that divergence not only affects retailers but supply chains too, and how different sectors of the retail industry require longer lead in times for reopening.

We will have further meetings with BIES, the SO, WO and NIO to ensure the concerns of the retail industry are heard.