Brexit Bulletin, 13 September 2019

Sep 13, 2019

This week, read about the latest Brexit developments as the UK parliament is suspended for five weeks. Also on the Brexit front, read about the leaked UK no-deal planning document, and the Irish Cabinet’s decision to prepare Budget 2020 on the assumption of a no-deal Brexit.  

UK Parliament suspended and law preventing no-deal Brexit is passed

Earlier this week, the UK House of Commons has successfully passed emergency laws preventing the UK from leaving the EU without a deal. Also, the UK Parliament is now suspended for five weeks and will reconvene with a queen’s speech on 14 October.

Meanwhile, to continue bilateral discussions on Brexit, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Dublin earlier this week. While discussions are at an early stage, they have both voiced their shared commitment to securing a suitable Brexit deal between the UK and the EU. They also discussed the restoration of power-sharing in Northern Ireland institutions in a joint statement following the meeting.

Additionally, the EU has subsequently confirmed that they are willing to revisit a deal with the possibility of a Northern Ireland-only backstop.

Operation Yellowhammer: Document outlines worst case no-deal Brexit scenarios

The previously leaked UK no-deal Brexit planning document, Operation Yellowhammer, was made public yesterday.  The report is available to read online, and outlines ten possible no-deal Brexit scenarios. The scenarios range from, warnings of potential unrest in Northern Ireland, road blockades, job losses and disruption to the agri-food sector, to reduced flow of cross-Channel goods and the potential for disruption to electricity supply.

Budget 2020 based on no-deal Brexit assumption, says Minister Donohoe

As preparing for a no-deal Brexit in Ireland was made a top priority by Cabinet last week, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has reassured the public that Cabinet has agreed to base the upcoming Budget 2020 on a no-deal Brexit assumption.

Taoiseach marks May 2020 as potential date for next general election

Speaking at a Fine Gael party meeting in Cork yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has indicated May 2020 as his preferred date for the next Irish general election. Mr Varadkar said that date should be suitable as either a Brexit deal would be in place by then, or the Government would have "guided the country through the worst" of a no-deal Brexit.

Phil Hogan appointed as EU’s next Trade Commissioner

Phil Hogan has been confirmed as the EU’s next Trade Commissioner. He will also be taking the lead as chief trade negotiator on the EU’s post-Brexit trade deal with the UK, as well as Mercosur and the EU’s trading relations with India, the US and China.

Brexit preparedness resources

Brexit Customs Level 1 and 2 – CPD course

Chartered Accountants Ireland, in association with the Irish Exporters Association, has launched a brand new continuous professional development (CPD) course - Brexit Customs Level 1 and 2 in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

This course provides participants with insights into how to manage their dealings with EU/International customs efficiently and explores areas such as goods classification, origin, valuation and transit. 

Brexit Customs Level 1 and 2 will run in the morning and evening respectively, and participants can book either the morning, or afternoon session, or both. Courses are being run in Belfast, Derry, Dublin and Newry. This course is suitable for accountants, and other business professionals, who have limited knowledge of customs. Attendees can be working in practice, finance, procurement, supply chain, operations or freight forwarding. No previous experience or knowledge of customs is required.

Interested parties can visit the CPD programmes page of our website to learn more and register for the course.


Clear Customs – Essential customs training

The Irish government have launched the Clear Customs initiative to help businesses and intermediaries develop the capacity to complete customs administration post-Brexit.

As a part of the initiative led by Skillnet, businesses have been offered two main supports:

  • An essential customs training programme delivered nationwide over six weeks providing skills necessary to make customs declarations
  • Customs Financial Support payment to assist with the costs of hiring or assigning new staff to customs roles. The payment can be up to €6,000 per employee that completes the training programme – up to a maximum of 10 employees.

Expressions of interest for the customs training programme and Customs Financial Support payment must be made via the Skillnet Ireland website before 20 September 2019.

Readers should note to meet the following eligibility criteria that businesses will need:

  • an EORI number from Revenue. Read our guidance on how to apply for an EORI number;
  • a CRO number;
  • to be registered with the Company Registration Office and incorporated in the Republic of Ireland at the time of application;
  • to provide freight, haulage, logistics services to, from or through the UK, or;
    • Are providing customs intermediary services; and
  • are currently directly engaged in the import/ export, or are facilitating the import/export, of goods to, from or through the UK and which will require new or increased customs clearance capacity.

HMRC – Customs funding

The UK government have announced additional funding to support businesses with the costs of making customs declarations. Businesses based in, or with a branch in, the UK can apply for funding ahead of the UK leaving the EU. Grants can be used to support:

  • training costs for businesses who complete customs declarations, or who intend to in the future
  • funding for IT improvement, which is available to small and medium sized employers who are currently involved in trade as an intermediary

Applications can be made online, with the grant being offered within 30 days of applying. 


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. 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 several 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.