Government must urgently intensify no-deal contingency plans

This week’s UK developments further increase risk of no-deal

Dublin, 12th December, 2018: The Irish Exporters Association today calls on the Government and the European Union to urgently intensify its no-deal contingency planning following this week’s developments in the UK. Monday’s decision by UK Prime Minister Theresa May to defer the scheduled parliamentary vote on the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement and today’s no-confidence vote by Conservative MPs further increases the risk of a disorderly no-deal.

Commenting on this week’s developments, Simon McKeever, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association, said: “The risk of a no-deal Brexit has significantly increased following this week’s stunning developments in the internal UK debate on Brexit. The potential economic impacts of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019 will be immediate, extensive and far-reaching for Irish businesses.

Today, we reiterate our previous calls for the Government to publish and implement its no-deal Brexit contingency plans to mitigate its worst impacts and ensure basic continuity of trade at a minimum.

The parliamentary arithmetic in the House of Commons is unlikely to change, no matter the outcome of today’s no-confidence vote. Therefore, the likelihood of the UK crashing out of the European Union without a critical transition period has never been as high as it is today! It is now critical for both the Irish Government and the European Union to urgently set in motion their no-deal Brexit contingency plans. Businesses are already preparing and implementing contingency plans. It is now for the Government to provide the business community with the urgently required information on the State’s plans and actions so that they can implement their contingency measures.

Certainty is crucial for businesses to plan, and the current deal on hand is the best and only option on hand at this junction. It provides businesses with the certainty of continued frictionless trade for a 2-year transition period and a framework for the future EU-UK trading relationship. Our geographic and close trading relationship with the UK, leaves Irish businesses uniquely exposed to the various impacts of no-deal Brexit. Irish exporters are uniquely dependent on established transport links, integrated supply chains with the UK and fluctuations in sterling exchange rates.

We now need concrete plans that ensure continued unimpeded access to the continental market and as frictionless access to the UK internal market as possible.“