Tuesday 26 March 2019

Business experts to help firms on 'no-deal' Brexit

The Irish border near Newry, Co Down (David Young)
The Irish border near Newry, Co Down (David Young)

Colm Kelpie

Enterprise Ireland is planning to draft in external customs experts to work on a one-to-one basis with businesses as part of its focus on worst-case scenario Brexit planning.

The agency tasked with supporting exporting companies said it wants the experts to work with its client companies and review their customs and logistics arrangements and help them draw up an action plan.

The plan would boost the firm's arrangements in terms of import and export procedures as well as the transport of goods into and out of Ireland, which could potentially be required in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

"Despite the uncertainty, Irish companies can and should take immediate action to mitigate potential risks and position themselves to take advantage of opportunities - actions that will increase their resilience and make good business sense irrespective of Brexit," Enterprise Ireland said in a tender document setting out its needs.

It comes as Ibec boss Danny McCoy received a letter from UK Prime Minister Theresa May, following her speech on Friday, in which she reiterated some of the key points, including that she does not want to see any tariffs or quotas on goods.

She also added that the UK is proposing a comprehensive system of mutual recognition to ensure products meet the required regulatory standards.

Mr McCoy has written to Ibec members attaching the letter.

"The tone from London has become more pragmatic," he wrote. "But the UK Brexit trajectory remains a massive concern. Leaving the single market and customs union will significantly disrupt trade.

"Attempting to replicate the benefits through other mechanisms is complex and unlikely to gain EU support."

Enterprise Ireland chief executive Julie Sinnamon warned earlier this year that Irish companies were still not focusing enough on Brexit preparations.

She said companies needed to have a plan in place to deal with the potential fall-out, especially those exposed to the British market.

Irish Independent

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