From the UK referendum vote last summer to the triggering of Article 50 in March this year, businesses have experienced an unprecedented level of uncertainty and confusion about the likely impact of Brexit on the EU.
The decision of the UK to leave the EU is hugely significant not only for the EU but for the global economy. Norms and certainties built up over the last 50 plus years will now come into question, be challenged and will inevitability change.
The impact of Brexit will be monumental to Ireland. We are the only country in the EU that has a land border with the UK, so we will be closely monitoring the negotiations and subsequent ‘divorce’ with the EU.
There are many positives which are of fundamental importance to the current close integration of the UK and Irish economic story and our intertwined relationship.  Consequently, we have been inundated with requests from clients for assistance with regard to dealing with the current level of uncertainty that has arisen in recent months.
Part of that uncertainty is trying to predict the likely outcome of the Brexit negotiations. Will there be a ‘hard Brexit’ where the UK will exit the single market? This will mean an exit to the current free trade and customs regimes in place across the EU with the UK also seeking to negotiate a trade agreement with the EU. Or will there be a more phased exit from the EU whereby the two year period will be extended.
What is the likely future relationship the UK will have with the EU?
Given the importance of the UK market to Irish SMEs, in particular across all sections of the economy, we are engaging with many clients in terms of risk assessing their current and future challenges in the post-Brexit landscape.
We have identified a number of key challenges for businesses to consider as part of the ongoing review of their existing and future business requirements. We believe it is important for businesses to assess these challenges, risks and implications under the following headings: