Brexit and Public Policy snippets

Jul 18, 2019

This week we take a look at Revenue’s intensive Brexit engagement with Irish businesses, calls for clarity over border checks as well as Michel Barnier’s warning to the UK that they will have to face the consequences of a no deal Brexit.

Revenue ramps up Brexit engagements with Irish traders

Revenue has vowed to increase engagement with Irish businesses trading with the UK, with the main focus being adopting preparedness measures such as EORI registration, numbers for which are still low.

In a recent press release Revenue warned that having a customs registration, otherwise known as an EORI number, is only the first step in being able to trade with the UK post Brexit. At a minimum, every business should also ensure that they have the facility to make customs declarations or have plans to engage a customs agent.

Cróna Clohisey, Manager in Advocacy & Voice, reiterated this point yesterday morning on RTÉ News (at 21 mins), RTÉ radio and RTÉ.ie where she also called for immediate clarity on the locations of border customs checks to enable businesses to plan for Brexit. These comments were then put to Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe on the same programme who said plans would be announced closer to the October deadline.

Get ready for Brexit regardless of the outcome

As the 31 October Brexit deadline approaches and regardless of the outcome of negotiations, Chartered Accountants Ireland is reminding Irish businesses that trade with the UK that they need to now:

  1. Register online with Revenue for an EORI number – it takes a few minutes to apply and a number should issue immediately or within 3 working days if checks are needed. Read more about the EORI number.
  2. Inform your customers in the UK (or further afield if you are using the UK as a land bridge) that they may experience delays in receiving your product because of supply chain disruption
  3. Familiarise yourself with the new customs administration. Find out what returns you might need to apply. Figure out whether you will do the customs administration yourself or whether you need to hire a customs agent.If you do the customs yourself, you need to have computer facilities and software to do this. Read our customs guide for accountants.
  4. Ensure that you have a line of credit to deal with any customs duties that might arise on imports from the UK.

UK Brexit developments

While the process to decide the UK’s next Prime Minister approaches a conclusion, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has warned the UK will have to “face the consequences” of a no-deal situation.  Speaking on the BBC, Mr Barnier said that the withdrawal agreement negotiated by Theresa May was the only way to leave the EU in an orderly fashion. 

This statement comes at a time when the Office for Budget Responsibility has said that the UK will fall into recession next year if there is a no-deal Brexit, with the economic growth set to fall by 2 percent by the end of 2020.

The UK parliament's Committee on Exiting the European Union has also warned in a report issued this morning that a no-deal Brexit would lead to severe disruption to the UK economy across key sectors and put many jobs and livelihoods at risk.

Building hope: Home Building Finance Ireland publishes half-year update 

Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI), the body charged with funding the construction of new homes in Ireland published its half-year update earlier this week. The body which started operations in January of this year reported:

  • Over 30 full funding applications have been received by HBFI
  • €41m in commercial loans have been made to home builders, translating to 228 units
  • 92 percent of full applications have been made from outside of Dublin
  • Projects range in size from 10 units to 73 units
  • HBFI has the ability to fund delivery of up to 7,500 units over a five-year period

Commenting on the update, Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe said “The Government is taking the necessary steps to ensure that Ireland has a fully functioning housing market and HBFI will play an important part in facilitating the achievement of this aim.”

SME Credit premium halved

As a part of the Government’s Brexit support package, the Government announced earlier this week that the SME Credit Guarantee Scheme premiums have been reduced from 1 percent to 0.5 percent.  The Credit Guarantee Scheme supports SMEs who under normal lending criteria are unable to get bank funding. This reduction in cost aims to support SMEs in addressing challenges to growth and productivity. This initiative comes in the wake of the Future Jobs initiative’s new SME policy development.

Read all our updates in our Public Policy webcentre.