Brexit centre

The decision of the UK people to leave the European Union is one of the most significant events to occur in the history of the EU. Because of our geographic, social and economic ties with the UK, Ireland will experience the greatest impact of this decision among EU countries. The land border makes the situation particularly onerous. Ireland currently operates a trade surplus with the UK and customs checks and controls are increasingly likely.

Chartered Accountants Ireland

Latest Brexit news

Tax

With 60 days to go until the UK leaves the EU, there is still no agreement on the withdrawal agreement with the backstop still proving the sticking point. There are reports that the EU have said if there is no backstop, the UK must remain in a permanent customs union with the EU.  The Irish government has published an outline of the legislation which will be required here as we manage our future arrangements with the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Permanent customs union President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has reportedly said that if the UK wants to do away with the backstop, it must sign up to a permanent customs union with the EU. Leaked information documenting a conversation between Mr Juncker and Theresa May suggest that unless the UK changes its position dramatically, the current proposals contained within the withdrawal agreement were non-negotiable. The backstop has proved the biggest obstacle in getting the withdrawal bill through the UK Parliament. More votes Labour MP Yvette Cooper and some other backbenchers put forward a proposal to delay Brexit in the event of the tweaked Brexit deal not being passed by the House of Commons by 26 February.  The proposal would allow MPs to vote on the case for extending the Article 50 process. Under EU law, the Article 50 process can only be extended if the other 27 Member States agree. Other alternatives to move forward with Brexit have been proposed by MPs through a parliamentary tool known as an “amendment”.  Over the weekend, support was being drawn up for an amendment which requires the backstop to be replaced with alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border. There’s hope that if this amendments is passed in parliament, it offers a good chance of progress with the EU. Tomorrow (29 January), the UK parliament will discuss and vote on these amendments. Read more about the amendments proposed. Irish government publishes Brexit legislation The Irish government published the outline scheme of its Miscellaneous Provisions (Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 29 March 2019) Bill 2019 last week as part of the continued contingency plans for a no deal Brexit.  The Bill is made up of 17 parts and “focuses on the broad themes of protecting the citizen, and supporting the economy, enterprise and jobs.”  The Bill includes how healthcare and travel arrangements would be maintained between the UK and Ireland, how the single electricity market would continue to operate, how tax reliefs would work as well as information on financial services and third country provisions.   Revenue Chairman in front of Oireachtas committee Revenue Chairman, Niall Cody appeared before the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform yesterday to talk about Revenue’s Brexit preparedness.  Commissioner Cody’s message to business has been, he says, “clear and consistent.  You need to undertake a Brexit impact assessment for your business; you need to identify the challenge or challenges of adapting your business processes; and you need to be ready to comply with the customs requirements that will arise from trading with the UK as a third country.”  You can read the Commissioner’s opening statement using this link. Revenue guidance on Brexit Revenue has added some more content to its Brexit web centre to include specific information on the customs implications for Irish traders trading with the UK.  

Jan 28, 2019
Brexit

With 63 days to go until the UK leaves the EU, stalemate remains in the UK. The European Commission has stated that in the event of a no deal there will be a hard border on the island of Ireland.   EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said in Brussels this week that there can be no further negotiation on the Withdrawal Agreement.  In the UK parliament, MPs are preparing to debate some proposed amendments to the Brexit bill in an attempt to move forward. More voting Following the failure of MPs to approve the Brexit withdrawal agreement, Labour MP Yvette Cooper and some other backbenchers put forward a proposal to delay Brexit in the event of the tweaked Brexit deal not being passed by the House of Commons by 26 February.  The proposal would allow MPs to vote on the case for extending the Article 50 process. Under EU law, the Article 50 process can only be extended if the other 27 Member States agree. Other alternatives to move forward with Brexit have been proposed by MPs through a parliamentary tool known as an “amendment”.  And Yvette Cooper’s proposal is one of such amendments.  On 29 January, the UK parliament will discuss and vote on these amendments. Read more about the amendments proposed. No further negotiations EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier spoke in Brussels this week and said while there is no desire to have to use the backstop, there can be no further negotiation on the Withdrawal Agreement. Revenue Chairman in front of Oireachtas committee Revenue Chairman, Niall Cody appeared before the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform yesterday to talk about Revenue’s Brexit preparedness.  Commissioner Cody’s message to business has been “clear and consistent".  The Commissioner said "You need to undertake a Brexit impact assessment for your business; you need to identify the challenge or challenges of adapting your business processes; and you need to be ready to comply with the customs requirements that will arise from trading with the UK as a third country.”  You can read the Commissioner’s opening statement using this link. Revenue guidance on Brexit Revenue has added some more content to its Brexit web centre to include specific information on the customs implications for Irish traders trading with the UK.   Institute’s Brexit guidance Members are reminded that the Institute has published a series of Back to Brexit Basics  on our Brexit web-centre 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.  Brexit Bites Sony and Dyson move headquarters out of the UK ahead of Brexit Bombardier says it’s “imperative” a solution to the Brexit impasse is found What Brexit means for the airline industry – explainer Sterling rallies as traders bet on Brexit deal being reached  Read all of our Brexit updates on the dedicated Brexit section of our website.

Jan 24, 2019
Brexit

After surviving a no-confidence vote last week, the UK Prime Minister Theresa May is back in Parliament today to present an alternative deal to which she hopes is more palatable to MPs. The Brexit Plan B is rumoured to be not too dissimilar to Brexit Plan A.  Confidence without supply The Prime Minister held a first round of cross-party talks last week in an effort to find a compromise but there are reports this morning that she is hoping that the EU will re-write the backstop- something that many Member States including Ireland have said as unlikely. However there are reports that the EU may be considering extending the Brexit process.  Watch this space. Mrs May is expected to make a statement in the House of Commons later today on her plan B which will then be voted on by the UK Parliament on 29 January 2019. Bills, bills and more bills – The Irish government last week announced plans to publish its Brexit omnibus bill on 29 February which covers 17 areas that will need legislation in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Border checks – During Leader’s questions, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that Ireland is implementing no deal plans and that means possible checks at ports and airports in Dublin and Rosslare. The Taoiseach said that checks are not being planned along the land border on the island of Ireland or at sea.    Revenue regional Brexit seminars 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. Carnbeg Hotel, Dundalk, Tuesday 22 January 2019 Hibernia Suite, Dublin Castle, Thursday, 24 January 2019 Clayton Whites Hotel, Wexford, Wednesday, 30 January 2019. 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. HMRC telling traders to get an EORI number HMRC are reminding traders about actions they can take to prepare in the event of a no deal Brexit.  One recommendation is to apply for an EORI number to be able to continue to trade with the EU and HMRC say it only takes ten minutes. You can read the update using this link. 

Jan 21, 2019
Brexit

Theresa May’s failure to win approval for the terms of the withdrawal agreement by a 230-vote margin is the worst government defeat in UK history. With 70 days to go before the UK is scheduled to leave the EU the great uncertainty of Brexit continues for people and business alike.  A vote on the “Plan B” will take place in the UK Parliament on 29 January. Confidence without supply The defeat of the withdrawal bill led to a no-confidence vote on Wednesday night – a vote the embattled leader survived with 118 conservative MPs who voted against the withdrawal bill backing the Prime Minister.  Now Theresa May has appealed to opposition leaders to meet with her for talks before she has to present an alternative proposal to parliament on Monday. Speaking in a televised address following the vote, the UK Prime Minister tried to reassure the country that she is in charge of the Brexit process and said: "Now MPs have made clear what they don't want, we must all work constructively together to set out what parliament does want." The Guardian has published a breakdown on how MP’s voted in the no confidence motion. The Brexit “Plan B” will be voted on by the UK Parliament on 29 January 2019. Brexit bites This week we round up some of the reaction to the goings on in the UK Parliament over the past few days. What’s the solution? “If a deal is impossible, and no one wants (a) no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?” The words of European Commission President Donald Tusk following the UK vote on the Withdrawal Bill.  Profound regret – Chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the EU “profoundly regrets” the Commons vote on the Withdrawal Bill and said a no deal Brexit is increasingly likely. Time is almost up - President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker urges the UK to clarify its intentions as soon as possible. Bills, bills and more bills - The Irish government meanwhile announced plans to publish its Brexit omnibus bill on 29 February which covers 17 areas that will need legislation in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Border checks – During Leader’s questions this week, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that Ireland is implementing no deal plans and that means possible checks at ports and airports in Dublin and Rosslare. The Taoiseach said that checks are not being planned along the land border on the island of Ireland or at sea.     Revenue regional Brexit seminars 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. Carnbeg Hotel, Dundalk, Tuesday 22 January 2019 Hibernia Suite, Dublin Castle, Thursday, 24 January 2019 Clayton Whites Hotel, Wexford, Wednesday, 30 January 2019. 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. Update from HMRC  HMRC are reminding traders about actions they can take to prepare in the event of a no deal Brexit.  One recommendation is to apply for an EORI number to be able to continue to trade with the EU and HMRC say it only takes ten minutes. You can read the update using this link.  Institute’s Brexit guidance 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 on the dedicated Brexit section of our website.    

Jan 17, 2019
Tax

Deal or no deal, after the UK leaves the EU, Irish traders will have to pay VAT upfront on imports from the UK. This, in addition to new customs duties, could mean a stark cash flow burden for business.   Given that over €30 billion of goods are exchanged between the two jurisdictions every year, this major change will cause significant upheaval to every business involved in imports. The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies Ireland (CCAB-I) is calling for the introduction of rules to allow Irish traders extra time to pay the VAT due on goods arriving from the UK.    The ‘postponed method of accounting for import VAT’ would mean that Irish importers would not have to pay VAT at the point the goods arrive into Ireland from the UK but instead declare the VAT and recover the costs in the next VAT return filed with the Revenue, several weeks later.  President of member body Chartered Accountants Ireland, Feargal McCormack said “The postponed method of accounting for VAT would be relatively straightforward to introduce.  Several other EU Member States have already adopted this method and many of these countries have land borders with non-EU countries.  Postponing the payment of VAT makes practical sense for businesses that will already be challenged by the upheaval of Brexit.  An added advantage would be that this proposed system would largely reflect the existing VAT collection mechanisms for trade within the EU and companies are already very familiar with this method.”  In the event of a No Deal Brexit, the UK government have indicated that it will introduce the postponed method of accounting for import VAT.  CCAB-I first called for the introduction of the postponed method of accounting for VAT almost two years ago.   Mr McCormack said: “The UK VAT proposal is practical and Ireland should offer the same.  Post Brexit, Irish traders importing from the UK will face an upfront VAT cost even if there is a future trading deal.  If the current law is not changed in Ireland, upfront VAT will create cash flow costs and administrative burdens – all generated by Brexit – and none of which exist at present.”  From the exchequer perspective at a time when 2018 VAT receipts were €931 million ahead of 2017 figures, only one VAT period would be affected by a change in method and the position would neutralise over the year. The CCAB-I’s statement was reported during the week in the Irish Examiner and The Times UK.  Read all of our Brexit updates on the dedicated Brexit section of our website.  

Jan 14, 2019
Brexit

Chartered Accountants Ireland has warned its members not to be complacent about a Brexit political settlement that might not materialise before 29 March 2019.  In a joint statement widely reported in the media, the Chairs of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society and the Chartered Accountants Ireland London Society said that there is no hard evidence that the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, which would avoid a hard Brexit, will be agreed tomorrow at Westminster. Both societies are advising businesses to prepare for a no-deal Brexit and for the reintroduction tariffs and quotas on imports and exports between the UK and the EU from the end of March. The Chartered Accountancy bodies also state that they have particular concerns regarding the readiness of the SME sector to deal with these challenges. Niall Harkin, Chairman of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society said: “Generally, aside from the agribusiness sectors, it is not the amount of customs duties to be reintroduced that will pose problems for businesses in the UK and NI in particular.  “Rather it is the disruption which will be caused by customs checking at the borders with the EU and the increased administration that this will bring.  Furthermore, many businesses will encounter a new up-front VAT charge on imported goods which will impact on cash flow.” Gerry Nicholas, Chairman of Chartered Accountants Ireland London Society said: “Chartered Accountants, as business leaders and financial planners and managers, will be at the forefront of dealing with any new trading obligations post Brexit.  We must ensure that businesses will meet any new legal requirements that emerge. “We are recommending that as a minimum first step, cross-border trading businesses ensure that their business has applied for a UK EORI number required to continue to trade within the EU after 29 March.” The UK government has released a Partnership pack which covers information on how to prepare for changes at the UK border in the event of a no deal Brexit.  The guide addresses future cross-border trading activity and highlights steps which can be taken to prepare for Brexit.  Chartered Accountants Ireland is publicising this guide. Chartered Accountants Ireland has also prepared a written guide on how customs operate (and is designed particularly for traders who are dealing with customs for the first time) in conjunction with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and a free copy is available at www.charteredaccountants.ie. In terms of financial services, there are definitive reports of firm’s relocating from the UK to Ireland. We would urge such firms to continue with contingency planning with customers and investors in mind.  Chartered Accountants Ireland is also engaging with the relevant regulatory bodies, the FRC and IAASA, to ensure continued cross-border recognition of its members’ qualification and auditing rights across the island of Ireland after Brexit. UK businesses can apply for an EORI number online at https://www.gov.uk/eori.  This statement was reported in the Belfast Telegraph, the Irish News,  the Irish Times, Newsletter,   Business Eye, the Daily Mail and the Irish Mirror. 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.  The UK government has provided no-deal guidance on gov.uk  while the European 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.  Read all of our Brexit updates on the dedicated Brexit section of our website.  

Jan 14, 2019