Brexit concern evident among Chartered Accountants

Feb 01, 2019

Author and journalist Ian Kehoe addressed over 200 members of Chartered Accountants Ireland on Tuesday last at a breakfast briefing in Dublin and there was clear evidence of the deepening uncertainty Brexit is bringing to the business community in Ireland.

Opening the event, Institute President Feargal McCormack warned that the introduction of a hard border and customs controls between Ireland and the UK as a result of a no-deal Brexit is now almost inevitable, and that Irish businesses and consumers in every part of the country will feel the effects through higher import prices, supply chain disruption and a heavy administration burden.

Keynote speaker, Ian Kehoe said that the UK leaving the EU was never going to be easy and the process has become a political game.  Mr Kehoe said “The process has been marked by competing ideologies and conflicting narratives. If Brexit was purely about economics and finance, it would have been resolved by now. Instead, it has been driven by political power games.”

Cróna Clohisey, Manager in the Tax & Public Policy department at the Institute told members that any business involved in trade with the UK would need to get their customs knowledge up to date and undertake a thorough supply chain review in order to be prepared for all eventualities.

Businesses voiced their concerns that import VAT could be extremely costly regardless of whether there is a Brexit deal as Irish traders will have to pay VAT upfront on imports from the UK.  The Institute has repeatedly called upon the Government for VAT on imports to be delayed until the next VAT return and are concerned that no proposals to do so were included in the outline of no-deal Brexit legislation published last week. 

Amid all the uncertainty, attendees were urged to continue their contingency preparations for a no-deal Brexit and that the Institute will support members in the process via Tax news, eNews and its Brexit web-centre.

Speaking in front of a capacity audience in Chartered Accountants House, Mr McCormack said “The decision of the UK people to leave the European Union is one of the most significant events to occur in the history of the EU. Chartered Accountants, as business leaders and financial planners and managers, will be at the forefront of dealing with any new trading obligations post Brexit. It is in all of our interests that the UK and EU get the best deal possible”.

Thank you to all members who supported the event.  For those who missed it, the recording is available to view using this link.  Pictures of the event can be found on our Flickr account.