Brexit Bites, 23 February 2018

Feb 22, 2018

An Irish government report shows that Brexit will have a negative impact on Irish trade regardless of the trading landscape post Brexit with beef, dairy and food-processing industries the worst hit.  In other news, the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee is alarmed about the inadequate staffing of UK Border Control while Holland is reportedly hiring 900 staff to deal with its increased border activities. 

Report says Brexit is bad regardless of trade scenario

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation commissioned Copenhagen Economics to analyse how changes in the trading patterns between the UK and EU could impact Ireland after Brexit.  The study examined the implications for Ireland under four scenarios; A European Economic Area scenario, trading in a Customs Union, a free trade agreement between the EU and the UK and trading under World Trading Organisation (WTO) rules projecting the effects to 2030.  The study found that Brexit will have a negative impact on Irish trade regardless of the resulting scenario with trade under WTO rules having the worst affect.

The study also found that beef, dairy, and food processing industries will be the hardest hit.   Wages and services will also be impacted and it’s estimated that Brexit could cost the Irish economy €18 billion to 2030.  The research suggests that in order to mitigate the Brexit risk Ireland’s workforce needs to upskill, traders need support in seeking export markets and dealing with customs, new trade deals should be sought via Ireland’s EU membership.

A crisis in border staff?

There are currently 57 border force officers in Northern Ireland and according to the Public and Commercial Services Union, increasing this number by the planned six will not cope with any real expansion in border checks which are inevitable after Brexit.  At the moment, border force officers operating in Northern Ireland cover a 335 mile long border, four sea ports and three airports. 

The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee said it was increasingly worried about the capacity for UK Border Controls to operate effectively given limited resources. A UK government spokesperson said that the government is preparing properly for Brexit and it would keep a close eye on recruitment needs.  

Brexit Shorts

  • The Dutch government is reportedly hiring 900 customs staff to strengthen border control
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs launched a dedicated Brexit website last week
  • There are opportunities for Irish firms in the fintech area

Read all of our Brexit updates on the dedicated Brexit section of our website.