Brexit Bulletin, 4 January 2019

Jan 03, 2019

There are 84 days to go until 29 March 2019 – the day the UK is due to leave the EU. Yesterday the Irish government met to table no deal planning as the European Commission tells Member States to get their borders ready for a no-deal Brexit.  Chartered Accountants Ireland is advising businesses to make contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit.

No deal planning on the agenda

Contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit dominated the first cabinet meeting of 2019 which took place yesterday morning.  The government’s plans for a no-deal Brexit were published just before Christmas but yesterday was the first time they were discussed in detail in the cabinet.  Described as “stark” and “sobering” by Tanáiste Simon Coveney, the paper covers 19 sectors where action will be need to be taken if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.  

600 additional customs officials will need to be hired and it’s thought that 45 pieces of legislation will be needed if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.  These discussions come amid reports that Ireland will ask the EU for “hundreds of millions” in grant aid to cope with challenging trading conditions Ireland will face if there is a no-deal Brexit, particularly in the agri-food and fishing sectors.

Meanwhile the EU has said that "no further meetings are foreseen" with the UK on the withdrawal bill ahead of the UK parliament vote during the week of 14 January.

European Commission warns Member States to get their borders ready

The Commission has released no-deal notices warning all Member States to get their borders ready to implement customs checks on goods coming from the UK from 29 March 2019.  For Ireland, in reality this means a return to a hard border on the island.  Customs duties will be applied to imports from the UK at WTO rates and sanitary checks that apply for third countries on animals and animal products among other things will come into effect.  This also means that VAT will apply upfront on imports.  The Institute will continue to call for VAT on imports to be postponed until the next VAT return filing date. 

The UK’s guidance for a no-deal

The UK government has been issuing technical notes throughout the course of the past few weeks on several different issues that will affect businesses and citizens if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.  All guidance can be found on gov.uk. The Partnership Pack gives high level guidance on how to prepare for changes at the UK border in the event of a no deal and contains very important information on making customs declarations. 

Key Brexit dates ahead

As we begin 2019, we remind readers of some important dates ahead:

  • Week of 7 January 2019 – The UK Parliament will debate the withdrawal agreement
  • Week of 14 January 2019 – The UK Parliament will vote on the withdrawal agreement
  • 21 January 2019 –  Last date that the UK government can present the deal to the UK Parliament if the vote does not go ahead
  • 21-22 March 2019 – next European Council Summit
  • 29 March 2019 – Brexit day

Revenue regional Brexit seminars  - book your place

Revenue will host the following seminars in January to help address the potential customs implications of Brexit and how these challenges can be addressed.  Book by clicking the links below.

If you have a specific topic you wish covered, you can email brexitqueries@revenue.ie outlining the details. 

More seminars will be added subject to demand and the Brexit dedicated page on the Revenue website will be updated with further information as it becomes available.

Institute’s Brexit guidance

As the prospect of a no-deal Brexit looms, members are reminded that the Institute has published a series of Back to Brexit Basics which will help you understand Brexit and its possible implications for you and your business.  The free customs guide Taking the Lead: Chartered Accountants and Brexit prepared by the Institute and ICAEW will also help business in the UK and Ireland get a grasp of customs obligations post Brexit. 

Read all of our Brexit updates and Back to Brexit Basics on the dedicated Brexit section of our website.