Key NI producers and retail leaders sign open letter supporting Windsor Framework

Key NI producers and retail leaders sign open letter supporting Windsor Framework

Some of Northern Ireland’s key business leaders, including notable names in the retail industry, have signed an open letter in which they voice their support for the Windsor Agreement.

Leaders from across the CBI’s Presidents’ Committee and Northern Ireland Council issued the open letter in which they congratulated Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on securing the “historic” Windsor Framework.

In the letter they welcome the agreement’s role in “resolving significant challenges” around the Northern Ireland Protocol, “bolstering the UK-EU relationship” and “laying the foundations for increased prosperity across the province”.


The open letter states that while they are taking the time to “digest the details” of the agreement, they are “united” in their belief it is the “most sustainable path forward” for Northern Ireland.

Signatories of the document include representatives of Amazon UK, Siemens Plc and Sainsbury’s.

Notable Northern Ireland and Ireland business names include Martin Agnew, Joint Managing Director of the Henderson Group; Brian Donaldson, CEO of The Maxol Group; Joanne Molloy, Managing Director of TS Foods Ltd and Brian Gillan, Head of Retail & NI, Allied Irish Bank UK.

The letter also calls on stakeholders to use the momentum generated by the Windsor Framework to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland “as swiftly as possible”.

Martin Agnew, Joint Managing Director, Henderson Group
Maxol Group CEO, Brian Donaldson

The full text of the letter is:

Dear Prime Minister,

We businesses, representatives on the CBI Presidents’ Committee and the CBI’s Northern Ireland Council, congratulate the Prime Minister and the UK government for achieving the breakthrough in the negotiations with the EU on the Northern Ireland Protocol, and accomplishing the Windsor Framework. Business welcomes the framework as a watershed moment for the UK-EU relationship, and it represents a huge opportunity for both the Northern Irish and Great British economies.   

It is vital that trade flows between Great Britain and Northern Ireland are smooth, and friction for firms is minimised. The Windsor Framework will mean that the Northern Irish economy can maximise the opportunities presented by dual access to the EU and UK markets. Due to the breadth and complexity of its scope, businesses are taking time to digest the details. However, we are nonetheless united in believing that the Windsor Framework is the most sustainable path forward for Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.  

With this historic agreement behind us, now is the time for power-sharing to be restored in the Northern Ireland Executive and for political representatives to turn their attention to economic growth and delivering greater prosperity for everyone across Northern Ireland.  


Martin Agnew, Joint Managing Director, Henderson Group  

Ashley Almanza, Executive Chairman, Allied Universal – International  

Lord Karan Bilimoria, Founder and Chairman, Cobra Beer 

Declan Billington, CEO, John Thompson & Sons Ltd   

Elaine Birchall, CEO, SHS Group Ltd 

John Boumphrey, Country Manager, Amazon UK 

Barry Byrne, Managing Director, Mount Charles 

Phil Clarke, Associate Director, MCS Group  

Liam Condon, CEO, Johnson Matthey 

Andrew Cosslett, Chair, Kingfisher & ITV 

Brian Donaldson, CEO, The Maxol Group  

Paul Drechsler, CBE, Chair, International Chamber of Commerce 

Carl Ennis, CEO, Siemens Plc 

Brian Gillan, Head of Retail & NI, Allied Irish Bank UK 

Ian Greer, President and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University Belfast 

John Harrison, UK Chairman and General Counsel, Airbus 

Miles Karemacher, General Manager, Coca-Cola HBC 

Brian McBride, President, Confederation of British Industry  

Kevin McNamee, CEO, Denroy Group 

Sir Ivan Menezes, CEO, Diageo plc 

Joanne Molloy, Managing Director, TS Foods Ltd 

Simon Roberts, CEO, Sainsbury’s