With less than 70 days to go until the end of the Brexit transition period, a trade deal between the EU and UK is still possible but businesses must prepare for significant changes, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Neale Richmond, party spokesperson on European Affairs said: “Despite a stall in negotiations, intensified talks have begun between the EU and UK to secure a trade deal before the end of the transition period.
“Though sticking points remain, negotiators will work around the clock to try and secure a no tariff or quota trade deal.
“However, a deal will not be made at any price and the EU must protect the Single Market, our high standards and our economic interests.
“Regardless of whether a deal is reached or not, significant change is coming to Irish businesses in less than 10 weeks.
“The Government has been preparing for Brexit for over four years now, and as a result our infrastructures are ready and supports for businesses are in place.
“Over 100,000 companies in Ireland trade with the UK or source goods from the UK and it is vital that they are prepared for what is to come.
“2020 has been a hugely difficult year for businesses, through no fault of their own, and I recognise that Brexit is an additional stress that they could do without, however ignoring the impending changes will only lead to more harm and disruption in January.
“Supports are available for businesses; from the Enterprise Ireland Ready for Customs Grant which provides €9,000 per employee hired or redeployed to a customs role, to the Brexit Loan Scheme which provides loans from €25,000 to €1.5 million to businesses with up to 499 employees who are affected by Brexit to Brexit Advisory Clinics and Impact Calculators, the supports are out there for businesses.
“I am hopeful that a deal can be achieved, but we must be prepared to trade on World Trade Organisation rules come January 1st.
“By availing of these supports now, businesses can ensure as smooth a transition as possible into our new trading relationship with the UK.”