Everyone has a no-deal Brexit plan – until they get punched in the mouth

Cantillon: Irish retailers say they’re ready for any scenario. We’re not reassured

A no-deal Brexit will be more than a mere punch in the mouth for Irish retailers who rely on the importation of foreign goods via the UK land bridge. It will be more like a Scud missile in the face

A no-deal Brexit will be more than a mere punch in the mouth for Irish retailers who rely on the importation of foreign goods via the UK land bridge. It will be more like a Scud missile in the face

 

The Irish retail sector assures us there are plans in place to combat supply shortages in a no-deal Brexit. An old boxing adage springs to mind: “Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth.”

Retail Ireland, a division of employers’ group Ibec, said it was “totally inaccurate” to speculate there may be empty shelves in shops if the UK crashes out of the European Union without a deal.

Most Irish imports come from Europe via the “land bridge” of Britain, and if there is a no-deal Brexit and no agreement on customs rules, this supply chain would obviously be at risk, hauliers have warned.

“Consumers can rest assured, Irish retailers have comprehensive contingency plans in place to ensure supply continuity in all Brexit scenarios,” said Thomas Burke, director of Retail Ireland.

“While the prospect of a no-deal Brexit brings many challenges to the supply chain, retailers have spent the last two years putting in place detailed plans to address these.”

We don’t know about you. But that doesn’t make us feel us feel terribly reassured.

Firstly, a no-deal Brexit will be more than a mere punch in the mouth for Irish retailers who rely on the importation of foreign goods via the UK land bridge. It will be more like a Scud missile in the face.

If the land bridge is closed, what plan on earth could possibly make up for the massive disruption this will cause?

Never will there have been such a massive overnight disruption to supply chains. Nobody has faced anything like this before. Not even the Government knows how this will work. So how can Irish retailers be so sure of their plans?

If the land bridge is closed, what plan on earth could possibly make up for the massive disruption this will cause? An Irish version of the Berlin airlift?

And if the Irish Government has thus far refused to reveal its contingency plans for customs in the event of a no deal, how can retailers possibly know the assumptions upon which they should base their plans?

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