Brexit Bulletin, 6 August 2019

Aug 06, 2019

The Institute is urging businesses in Northern Ireland to assess customs preparedness to continue to trade with the EU post-Brexit.  In other developments, read about the latest visit to Northern Ireland by Irish Ministers to talk about Brexit, and the Irish Government publishes the National Risk Assessment for 2019.

Northern Ireland businesses need to prepare for Brexit regardless of the outcome

In a recent press release, Chartered Accountants Ireland is urging businesses in Northern Ireland to prepare for Brexit now so that they can continue to be able to trade with the EU.  Richard Gillan, Chairman of the Institute’s Ulster Society, urged businesses to register for an EORI number and to take stock of any gaps in customs expertise. These comments were reported by Business First UK, Belfast Telegraph, Belfast Newsletter and by Downtown Radio.

Latest Brexit developments

Following Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson inaugural phone call last week, Mr. Johnson remains firm on his stance on abolishing the backstop as part of any deal with the EU. Mr Johnson was also in Belfast for talks with Norther Ireland political leaders about restoring power-sharing at Stormont. While the Prime Minister made clear that Brexit was going ahead on 31 October come what may, he assured the group that he was determined to bring the power-sharing process to a successful conclusion. 

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach continues to reiterate that the EU is united in its view that the Withdrawal Agreement would not be reopened and that the backstop could only be replaced with a satisfactory option which has “yet to be identified and demonstrated.”  With 31 October only a matter of weeks away, the Taoiseach will be in Belfast today to continue talks with Northern Ireland political figures, whereas Irish Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe will be separately meeting his UK counterpart, Chancellor Sajid Javid, to review the current economic developments in both nations and to tackle their approach to Brexit.

Additionally, Mr. Johnson’s government has announced a funding of £2.1 billion in an effort to better support the public and businesses to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. With the UK not being the only ones preparing for a no-deal Brexit, the EU is now functioning on "a working hypothesis of no deal" with a detailed mitigation plan already in place.

National Risk Assessment 2019: Brexit among top risks facing Ireland 

The Government published the National Risk Assessment yesterday, which focussed on the most substantial threats to the Irish public and economy in 2019. The report outlined socioeconomic risks such as affordable housing, pensions and Ireland’s ageing population, and also mentioned geopolitical risks of Brexit, international tax changes and the risk of the economy overheating. Climate change and issues of cyber security also featured in the report.

Brexit preparedness resources

Customs workshops

Local Enterprise Offices are running customs workshops throughout the country from August to October to provide businesses with a better understanding of the potential impacts and customs procedures to be adopted when trading with a country outside of the EU.  These courses are open to all businesses and you can read the course outline here.  To see locations, dates and how to book, go to this link.

Irish Government Brexit Supports

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation have released a number of Brexit preparedness supports, including the Brexit preparedness checklist, the Brexit Loan Scheme and the Getting Business Brexit Ready guide. For the full range of supports for businesses, visit the Department’s website.

Read all our updates in our Brexit web centre and our page dedicated to no-deal Brexit planning.