Brexit Bulletin, 19 August 2019

Aug 19, 2019

This week, we cover findings revealed in leaked UK no-deal contingency planning document highlighting imminent risks of a no-deal Brexit. In other news, read about the recent developments on Brexit negotiations between Irish and UK political leaders.


Leaked document highlights possibility of hard border in no-deal Brexit

The UK government are now operating on the assumption that a hard border will return, reveals a leaked UK no-deal contingency planning document, codenamed Operation Yellowhammer. The document also highlights that the UK government’s attempts at abolishing the “backstop” to make way for a hard Brexit will be unsustainable. The papers also warn of potential unrest in Northern Ireland, such as civic unrest, road blockades, job losses and disruption to the agri-food sector, as well as an increase in smuggling and the potential for disruption to electricity supply. 


As a follow on impact on the document’s findings, business lobbying giant, Ibec have spoken about the risk of halved Irish economic growth in the event of a no-deal Brexit and that the Irish Government should be planning by putting legislation and funding in place “no matter what the outcome”.



Ireland to ‘outperform Eurozone peers’ despite no-deal Brexit risks

In a recent report released by US-based ratings agency, Moody’s, its being reported that the Irish economy is said to be in line for a boost in acquiring foreign investment that would have otherwise gone to the UK. While it may not offset the adverse impacts that would come with a no-deal Brexit scenario, reports say that Ireland will  continue to outperform most of its Eurozone peers in the long term with growth for Ireland expected to be 4 percent this year and 3 percent in 2020.



Latest Brexit developments

With uncertainty growing around the outcome of Brexit, the UK Parliament is set to return back to the House of Commons in September. It is reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to face a cross-party group of MPs, who will attempt to use this occasion to legislate against a no-deal Brexit by requesting an extension to Article 50. Coinciding with the debate on power-sharing in Northern Ireland set to take place on 9 September, it is reported that the UK Prime Minister could face a confidence motion brought by the UK’s Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn.


Brexit preparedness resources

Clear Customs – Essential customs training


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


As a part of the initiative led by Skillnet, businesses are being 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 that businesses will need to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • must have an EORI number from Revenue. Read our guidance on how to apply for an EORI number
  • must have a CRO number
  • must be registered with the Company Registration Office and incorporated in the Republic of Ireland at the time of application
  • are providing freight, haulage, logistics services to, from or through the UK, or
  • are providing customs intermediary services or
  • 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


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.