Deal or no deal?
There are murmurs coming out of Irish and UK media that the UK will not successfully agree an adequate Brexit Deal for all parties. The main stumbling block being a little issue with Northern Ireland and the hard border. There are many questions to be answered from the UK side as to possible resolutions, however, they are forthcoming…
Food and dairy will surely be the hardest hit industries due to the sheer scale of exports from Ireland into the Britain. Unfortunately the mushroom factories around Ireland have already succumbed to the pressures.
Brexit and Irish Construction
So, what of the construction industry? It may not be the most talked about industry in this debacle; but it should not be forgotten either. For instance, some of the top machinery producers are now situated in Ireland and Northern Ireland with the outcome looking ominous for both sides of the border.
What exactly are the implications though? If we look at a similar prospect in Denmark. The country has dealt with a World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement for imports and exports. It would not be outside possibility that there will be tariffs as high as 18% for products entering the UK. While we; the Irish, have had some success with exchange rate fluctuations over the past years, you can bet this will eradicate any benefits.
Top producers in the twenty seven European union countries will struggle to export machinery and spare parts into Britain.
Movement of Workers
For over fifty years, Ireland has sent skilled tradesmen to the UK. All of us Irish have had some close family to go and never return to our Irish shores. Any ensuing hard or soft Brexit will unfortunately put an end to this tradition. What about the workers who are already positioned in the UK?
It seems that if these workers have been there for more than five years; there will be no issue in staying. It might be best to remember that five years ago Ireland was crawling out the backside of our worst recession ever…
While I can’t give a magic formula to help you as the situation is industry and even company specific… Saying that, the only advice that can be given right now is to get as fully prepared as possible. Whether you have the means to set up a British Office, eat into your margins or simply look at new markets; something needs to be done quickly. Enterprise Ireland is running a very informative and helpful website to provide information on getting prepared. It might be best practice to give it a read and take some points.