24 May 2019 | 12.14 pm
CPA Warning On No-Deal Brexit
'Waiting is no longer an option'
24 May 2019 | 12.14 pm
Accountancy body CPA Ireland has advised SMEs to commence implementation of their no-deal Brexit contingencies.
CPA president Gearóid O’Driscoll told the organisation’s annual conference in Cork that “smart action today will help soften the impact of a no-deal should it occur”.
O’Driscoll added: “The challenges of a no-deal Brexit have been well articulated for over two years. That risk seems greater than ever. and Irish SMEs should be proactive now to reduce the impact that could hit in just a few months.
“It seems clear that many smaller businesses in rural communities will feel the impact of Brexit earlier and harder than those in urban locations,” O’Driscoll said. “Waiting is no longer an option and businesses must look at the critical changes. This should include their supply chains, customs arrangements and currency management.
“There is a wide range of assistances the government have implemented. This includes the €300m Brexit loan scheme specifically for SMEs. All businesses should familiarise themselves with the help available and avail of those that are appropriate.”
UCC Business School lecturer Dr Declan Jordan told conference delegates that after a small respite from the extension to Brexit, the focus in the UK and Ireland is rapidly returning to the ongoing saga of the UK’s attempts to leave the EU. “For businesses, who should not discount the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, the optimal strategy is still to hope for the best and plan for the worst,” Jordan stated.
“The impact of Brexit will not be the same for every sector and every region in Ireland. Some types of businesses will be more negatively affected. We know that businesses most exposed to the UK economy include SMEs in agri-food and basic manufacturing. These businesses are over-represented in rural locations and as a result rural locations are most at risk.
“However the story is not completely bleak,” Jordan added. “While the effect of Brexit may be to reduce the level of Irish economic activity, particularly felt in vulnerable sectors and regions, the economy is dynamic enough and businesses are vibrant enough to eventually deal with Brexit setbacks.”
Theresa May Resignation
• MEP Mairead McGuinness, reacting to Theresa May’s pending resignation as UK prime minister, commented that the announcement does not take away from the hard facts about Brexit. “The timeline is as tight as it has ever been and the issues that are central to the Withdrawal Agreement can only be addressed by what is in the withdrawal agreement, which will not be reopened,” she stated.
“Delivering Brexit is easier said than done, due to deeply conflicting views in the UK, and the inevitable trade-offs between contradictory aims. The EU and the incoming European Parliament will again be dealing with the debate which has raged for almost three years and was heating up for long before that in the UK.”
McGuinness added that with May’s departure the Brexit situation in the UK has today become “yet more complicated and opaque, which is deeply worrying”.
Photo: Gearóid O’Driscoll (right) with conference chair John Creedon. (Pic: Pic Orla Murray/SON Photo)