Brexit centre

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. Because of our geographic, social and economic ties with the UK, Ireland will experience the greatest impact of this decision among EU countries. The land border makes the situation particularly onerous. Ireland currently operates a trade surplus with the UK and customs checks and controls are increasingly likely.

Chartered Accountants Ireland

Latest Brexit news

Brexit

The EU 27 have agreed to postpone the UK’s departure from the EU until 22 May – almost two months after the planned departure date of 29 March.  The postponement comes with a condition however.  The UK Prime Minister must get her MPs to approve the withdrawal bill in Parliament next week.  MPs will be asked to vote for a third time on the withdrawal bill.  If the vote fails, the UK will leave the EU on 12 April unless it chooses to hold European Parliament elections at the end of May. The outcome comes after a EU Summit in Brussels yesterday where Theresa May went to ask the EU to give her until 30 June to get the withdrawal bill through parliament. She will leave Brussels today without that and the question remains; what happens if the UK parliament rejects the withdrawal bill and don’t participate in the European elections?  It looks like a no-deal Brexit could be back on the table on April 12.  If a longer extension to Article 50 is needed, the UK will have to participate in the European elections; something Theresa May has said she doesn’t want to do.   Speaking in Brussels after the UK Prime Minister accepted the deal, EU Council President Donald Tusk said  “The cliff edge will be delayed…The 12th of April is a key date in terms of the UK deciding whether to hold European Parliament elections. If it has not decided to do so by then, the option of a long extension will automatically become impossible.” In a statement after accepting the EU’s proposals, the UK Prime Minister said: “What the decision today underlines is the importance of the House of Commons passing a Brexit deal next week so that we can bring an end to the uncertainty and leave in a smooth and orderly manner. Tomorrow morning, I will be returning to the UK and working hard to build support for getting the deal through”. All eyes will be on Westminster next week.  

Mar 22, 2019
Brexit

In a busy period of Brexit commentary amidst events in Westminster, a sentiment survey from the Institute shows that almost half of business leaders in the island of Ireland have little or no plans in place in the event a no-deal Brexit occurs. Read the findings. Separately the Institute says that the temporary tariff regime proposed by the UK for a no-deal Brexit needs more clarity on quality control checks. Third vote on withdrawal agreement delayed Just yesterday, the Speaker of the House of Commons used a 415 year old rule to stop a third vote in the House of Commons on the withdrawal agreement on the basis that MPs could not be asked to pass the same deal, after they rejected it twice, unless it was “different in terms of substance”. Speculation is now rife that Theresa May will go to Thursday’s Brussels summit with a request for a long extension to Article 50. Government sources suggest that the Prime Minister may seek to negotiate a lengthy extension with the EU which contains a “get-out clause” enabling the extension to be cut short if the Withdrawal Agreement is passed by Parliament before the European parliamentary elections in May 2019. More clarification needed on quality control checks in the event of a no-deal While the UK government’s temporary proposals for a no-deal Brexit comprehensively cover tariffs, little is said about regulation or quality assurance checks on goods going into the UK.  In a press release issued last week, Director of Public Policy and Taxation at Chartered Accountants Ireland, Brian Keegan said:  “More clarification is needed about how, for example, foodstuffs are going to be regulated for quality control purposes. The tariff regime announced doesn’t deal with the question of how the UK will manage the regulation and quality control of food coming into the UK market.” On the proposals for Northern Ireland, Mr Keegan said: “The open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is very welcome from a supply chain perspective. However, though the proposals suggest no tariffs and very limited checks on trade from Ireland into Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, as part of the EU, will have to fulfil its obligations under the Union Customs Code. This could involve quality assurance checks and even tariffs on goods going into the Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland under this scenario. This will potentially put traders in Northern Ireland at a competitive disadvantage to traders in the Republic of Ireland and give rise to a confusing arrangement for cross-border exporters particularly those with integrated cross-border supply chains.” Many of the products that Ireland exports to Great Britain would become more expensive under temporary tariff proposals. Metals, chemicals, textiles, footwear and machinery are all included in the schedules. “While the tariffs proposed by the UK in the event of no-deal will apply across the board to all imports into the UK, they are likely to hit Irish exporters the hardest because many of them start from a higher cost-base than suppliers coming from locations such as South America. Tariffs on agri-food under the proposals could be up to 60 percent of the EU’s Most Favoured Nation rate. These additional costs will severely impact Irish exporters who could see their competitiveness severely impacted. ” said Mr Keegan. Cróna Clohisey spoke about the impact of the UK’s proposed tariff regime on Newstalk’s Breakfast Business with Vincent Wall last Thursday morning, 14 March (listen at 13:35). Almost half of Irish businesses without a plan for ‘No Deal’ Brexit scenario A new Brexit sentiment survey from Chartered Accountants Ireland published last week shows that almost half of business leaders in the Republic of Ireland have little or no plans in place for a no deal Brexit. Despite 60% of Chartered Accountants in the Republic of Ireland saying that Brexit will have a negative impact, only 17% of those respondents said their businesses are fully ready to meet the challenges that Brexit might bring.  Reflecting the current uncertainty, almost half of businesses surveyed have made little or no plans to prepare for Brexit.  Among the key findings from the  survey of Chartered Accountants across all sectors in the Republic of Ireland were: - 69% said that the UK and EU were unlikely to reach a deal by 29 March 2019 44% had little or no plans for a no deal Brexit, 39% had some plans 60% said that Brexit would have a negative impact on their business, 12% said Brexit would have a positive effect 60% said the local business voice was not being heard in the Brexit negotiations Supply chain disruption was the biggest concern, followed by customs administration and then customs duties The survey was also carried out among members of Chartered Accountants Ireland in Northern Ireland and the results are almost identical. Speaking about the study, Brian Keegan, Director of Public Policy and Taxation at Chartered Accountants Ireland, said: “These findings reaffirm that some level of certainty is urgently needed among the business community both north and south of the border.  Without assurances of the future trading landscape, businesses are finding it difficult to put concrete plans in place to prepare for Brexit and many have adopted a wait and see approach.” According to the survey, Chartered Accountants rated supply chain disruption as their biggest concern followed by customs administration and thirdly customs duties. “The businesses we have engaged with and spoken to over the last two years have largely been more concerned about supply chain disruption and customs paperwork than the costs of any potential customs duties.  Many dealing with consumer foodstuffs with a short shelf life, for example, are unclear about how customs checks will take place and say that any delays in clearing customs could be detrimental to their businesses.” said Mr Keegan. The survey also showed that almost 70% of Chartered Accountants in the Republic of Ireland do not believe a Brexit agreement will be reached by 29 March. “It is hard to believe that with less than three weeks to go until 29 March, the UK and EU are still without an agreement. No agreement will result in a hard border on the island of Ireland and this will mean potentially hazardous trading conditions for businesses both north and south of the border. Chartered Accountants Ireland has been urging businesses to examine their supply chains, look at their cash flow and update their knowledge on customs in order to be ready to cope with the prospect of a no deal Brexit.” 1,320 Chartered Accountants responded to the survey which was carried out on 26 February 2019. 821 respondents were based in the Republic of Ireland.  Thank you to all respondents for taking the time to answer the survey.  The results of the survey were reported in the Sunday Business Post and Business World.  

Mar 19, 2019
Brexit

While the UK government’s temporary proposals for a no-deal Brexit comprehensively cover tariffs, little is said about regulation or quality assurance checks on goods going into the UK.  In a press release issued this week, Director of Public Policy and Taxation at Chartered Accountants Ireland, Brian Keegan said:  “More clarification is needed about how, for example, foodstuffs are going to be regulated for quality control purposes. The tariff regime announced doesn’t deal with the question of how the UK will manage the regulation and quality control of food coming into the UK market.” On the proposals for Northern Ireland, Mr Keegan said: “The open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is very welcome from a supply chain perspective. However, though the proposals suggest no tariffs and very limited checks on trade from Ireland into Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, as part of the EU, will have to fulfil its obligations under the Union Customs Code. This could involve quality assurance checks and even tariffs on goods going into the Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland under this scenario. This will potentially put traders in Northern Ireland at a competitive disadvantage to traders in the Republic of Ireland and give rise to a confusing arrangement for cross-border exporters particularly those with integrated cross-border supply chains.” Many of the products that Ireland exports to Great Britain would become more expensive under temporary tariff proposals. Metals, chemicals, textiles, footwear and machinery are all included in the schedules. “While the tariffs proposed by the UK in the event of no-deal will apply across the board to all imports into the UK, they are likely to hit Irish exporters the hardest because many of them start from a higher cost-base than suppliers coming from locations such as South America. Tariffs on agri-food under the proposals could be up to 60 percent of the EU’s Most Favoured Nation rate. These additional costs will severely impact Irish exporters who could see their competitiveness severely impacted. ” said Mr Keegan. Cróna Clohisey spoke about the impact of the UK’s proposed tariff regime on Newstalk’s Breakfast Business with Vincent Wall yesterday morning (listen at 13:30).

Mar 14, 2019