Tuesday 15 October 2019

Exporters must urgently review no-deal Brexit plans - Irish Export Association

Simon McKeever of the Irish Exporters Association
Simon McKeever of the Irish Exporters Association

Shawn Pogatchnik

The Irish Export Association says alarmingly few Irish companies are fully prepared for a no-deal Brexit and has called on all export-focused firms to review their plans urgently.

The association said in Tuesday’s statement that about 50,000 Irish small and medium-sized businesses still have not applied to Revenue for an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number – the essential ID for trading with nations outside the EU.

“We are concerned that, three months after the original Brexit deadline, only very few companies in the Irish trading community are fully prepared for all outcomes,” said chief executive Simon McKeever.

Mr McKeever said the insufficient take-up of EORI registrations illustrated what he called “the deep gap in the number of businesses taking the minimum preparatory actions for Brexit”.

“The IEA calls on all businesses to urgently (and) fully re-evaluate their supply chains to ensure they can mitigate the impacts of any Brexit outcome,” he said. “While there remains continued uncertainty about the final terms of the UK’s departure, a potential no-deal exit on WTO (World Trade Organisation) terms provides at least some certainty: We clearly know what to prepare for.”

But the Institute of Directors in Ireland struck a different tune on Tuesday, describing business readiness as advanced.

“Despite Brexit uncertainty, the work of business leaders in Ireland to prepare for Brexit is reassuring, with over 71pc citing that they are sufficiently prepared for Brexit,” said IoD chief executive Maura Quinn, referring to the body’s most recent survey of 3,000 member executives.

Both business lobbying groups spoke after the Government published its latest Brexit planning document.

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