Public policy snippets, 31 May 2019

May 30, 2019

Read about the public policy issues making headlines this week across the world including a chance to give your opinion on the public risks facing Ireland.

Give your opinion on the public risks facing Ireland

The Irish Government has published the Draft National Risk Assessment for 2019 and is asking members of the public to give their views about what they regard as the most significant risks facing Ireland in 2019. Climate change, international trade tensions, Brexit and international tax changes are some of the potential risks facing Ireland. Chartered Accountants Ireland is encouraging members to express their views by completing a questionnaire.  The closing date is Tuesday 25 June 2019.  You can access the questionnaire using this link and can also read the statement accompanying the consultation.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you

That’s the message from China to the US this week when it threatened to cut off rare earth minerals as a countermeasure against the escalating trade war with the US. The rare earth materials are a critical component in the manufacture of iPhones and electric vehicles in the US.

The People’s Daily which is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China reportedly published “We advise the U.S. side not to underestimate the Chinese side’s ability to safeguard its development rights and interests. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!” in a piece titled “United States, don’t underestimate China’s ability to strike back.”

Back to Brexit – car production falls dramatically in the UK

Car factories shut down last month in the UK to cope with disruption from a 29 March Brexit and this resulted in UK car production being cut in half for the month of April.  Car factories normally incorporate a shutdown period over the summer but this was brought forward to April to cope with the supply chain disruption that Brexit might have brought and give manufacturers time to learn new customs procedures.  

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), despite the fact that Brexit was delayed until 31 October, the postponement came too late for factories to change plans, prompting a dramatic reduction in output.

EU negotiator to lead trade unit

The EU’s deputy Brexit negotiator, Sabine Weyand, will lead the EU Commission’s trade unit in Brussels from June. This means she will be front and centre in the future talks with the UK on its future relationship with the EU after Brexit.  Read more.