‘Brexit readiness’ tool launched for Irish business amid trade talks impasse

Varadkar warns of significant changes to business with UK, 70 days ahead of EU exit

Leo Varadkar: ‘I know how tough this year has been for business.’ Photograph: Julien Behal

Leo Varadkar: ‘I know how tough this year has been for business.’ Photograph: Julien Behal

 

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar has launched an online “Brexit readiness” tool to help businesses prepare for the UK’s departure from the European Union at the end of the year.

The Enterprise Ireland Brexit Readiness Checker gives companies guidance on the steps they need to take now, based on their circumstances, with fewer than 70 days to go before the scheduled end of the transition period on January 1st.

To use the tool, companies answer questions on how prepared they are across topics such as customs procedures, finance and currency management, movement of people, data regulations and strategic sourcing.

After completing the form online, companies receive an individual report offering advice and targeted resources.

“I know how tough this year has been for business and this feels like yet another burden. However, Brexit becomes a reality in fewer than 70 days. Now is the time to act and get ready and this Brexit Readiness Checker is designed to make it easier for businesses to see what needs to be done,” said Mr Varadkar.

Unknown terms

The situation for business owners located in both the EU and the UK has been complicated by the fact that trade talks between the two sides have stalled, meaning the terms under which Brexit will occur are still unknown at this late stage.

A survey of 600 Irish companies carried out by Enterprise Ireland in September found 82 per cent of respondents indicated that this uncertainty about the outcome of negotiations was hampering their efforts to prepare. This was up from 74 per cent in August.

“Regardless of what happens between now and then, there will be significant changes to doing business with the UK,” Mr Varadkar said.

Giles O’Neill, manager of the Brexit Unit with Enterprise Ireland, added that the countdown to January 1st was “very real”, and that it was time to act, not panic.