Brexit Bulletin, 30 September 2019

Sep 30, 2019

This week read about the UK Supreme Court’s decision to rule Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament as unlawful. Also, read about the ESRI and the Central Bank’s latest warnings on increasing Brexit risks to the Irish economy.

UK Supreme Court deems Parliament suspension as unlawful

Last week, the UK Supreme Court unanimously ruled UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament as unlawful. The suspension was deemed as void, as Parliament reconvened at Westminster to discuss Brexit matters and the upcoming Tory party conference.

On the same day, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met with Mr. Johnson for the second time at the United Nations General Assembly. Following the meeting, the Taoiseach said that Brexit discussions are ongoing, and an orderly UK exit from the EU is both in Ireland and the UK’s interests. He also stated that Ireland is open to granting an extension to Brexit proceedings if the UK ask for it.

Meanwhile, the Tánaiste Simon Coveney and chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier have both said that the UK has yet to provide viable proposals to progress Brexit proceedings with the EU, and are responsible if they fail to do so. These statements come following their meeting last week.


ESRI and Central Bank warn on increasing Brexit risks

Reported last week, the Economic and Social Research institute (ESRI) has released its latest Quarterly Economic Commentary, which warns that a no-deal Brexit could potentially push the Irish economy into recession. They have recommended that the Government should consider a supplementary budget in addition to Budget 2020, which is due to be released on 8 October. In addition to Brexit, the ESRI highlighted the risk that there is “growing evidence of a slowdown amongst some of Ireland’s most important trading partners”.

 Another warning came in an Economic Letter published by the Central Bank of Ireland which has predicted that the national debt could rise by €22 billion over the next five years. They have also warned that a no-deal Brexit combined with a reduction in corporation tax could deliver a negative shock to public finances.


Budget 2020 prepared to cushion no-deal Brexit impact, says Irish Finance Minister

While addressing the Dáil last week, Irish Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has confirmed that additional funding and supports will be made available in the event of a no-deal Brexit in the upcoming Budget. He also highlighted his ongoing engagement with the European Commission on maintaining the integrity of Irish products being circulated on the EU single market. Additionally, the Taoiseach has verified that there will no supplementary budget to deal with a no-deal Brexit as Budget 2020 has already been based on a no-deal assumption.

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.