Brexit Bulletin - 2 August 2019

Aug 01, 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, the new UK Prime Minister joined political talks in Northern Ireland this week promising to help efforts to restore power-sharing in Stormont.

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

In a press release this week, 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 and by Downtown Radio.

 Some useful steps businesses in Northern Ireland should take include:

  1. Register online with HMRC for an EORI number – it takes a five 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. 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.


Boris Johnson in talks with political leaders

 On Tuesday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had their first phone call since Mr Johnson took office, where they were somewhat at odds on Brexit. Mr. Johnson remained firm on his stance on abolishing the backstop as part of any deal with the EU. The Taoiseach reiterated that the EU was 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.”  

 Following this, Mr Johnson was in Belfast on Wednesday for talks with the leaders of Sinn Féin, the DUP, the Ulster Unionist Party, the Alliance Party and the SDLP 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.

 Additionally, Mr. Johnson’s government has announced an additional funding of £2.1 billion in an effort to better support the public and businesses to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.


Loss of jobs with a reduction in economic growth, forecasts the Central Bank

 Amongst the many reports of the adverse economic impacts of a no-deal Brexit, the Central Bank of Ireland has predicted in its Third Quarterly Bulletin that it foresees a loss of around 34,000 jobs in Ireland by the end of 2020.

 The report also highlights that “in the event that a disorderly, no deal Brexit can be avoided, underlying economic activity is expected to perform strongly in 2019 and 2020”. You can read the full bulletin at this link.


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.