Government warns businesses about Brexit preparedness

Importers and exporters urged to get supply chains ready for ‘difficult period ahead’

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee: many State schemes and supports exist to assist firms in getting set for Brexit. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee: many State schemes and supports exist to assist firms in getting set for Brexit. Photograph: Gareth Chaney

 

The Government has called on Irish businesses to up the ante in relation to Brexit preparations in advance of “a very difficult period ahead” with the Brexit deadline approaching and no sign of a breakthrough on the Withdrawal Agreement.

There is just 10 weeks to go to the UK’s exit from the EU on October 31st, and, in the absence of an extension to article 50 or a shift in the stances of either side, the UK will crash out of the bloc, potentially plunging many businesses and exporters into chaos.

In a document published on Thursday, the Government highlighted steps that all businesses can take to prepare for Brexit, including garnering a greater understanding of the new rules for UK importing and exporting.

The Government is also calling on businesses to review supply chains and UK market strategy; to be aware of possible changes to transport and logistics; and to review certification, regulation, licensing, contracts and data management.

State supports

It also pointed out that a range of Government Brexit programmes and supports exist, and appealed to businesses to manage cash flows, currency and to make sure banking affairs are in order.

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The Government has also expressed concern that a number of sectors appear to have low levels of Brexit preparedness. These include construction, manufacturing, haulage and agrifood.

Retailers, and particularly independent shops and hardware stores that source products from or through the UK, are also believed to be underprepared, as well as smaller businesses who may not realise they are trading with the UK.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said work on Brexit preparations has the “highest priority” across Government, “particularly as the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit increases”.

‘Profound implications’

“A no-deal Brexit would have profound implications for Ireland on all levels,” he said. “These include macroeconomic, trade and sectoral challenges, both immediately and in the longer term.”

Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee urged businesses to avail of the State supports that have been put in place.

“Ireland does not want a no-deal Brexit,” she said. “But we are very aware that the threat of a no-deal is increasing as October 31st approaches.

“We are urging businesses and consumers to check the wealth of information available on gov.ie/Brexit and to avail of the range of supports which are available to help Irish businesses get through what may be a very difficult period ahead.”

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