Speaking earlier today, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive, Ian Talbot, said
“Today, the latest round of negotiations broke up without the sides making the kind of progress a smooth transition would require.
With each day that passes, the likelihood increases that Britain and the EU will be without a trading agreement come the new year. All the signs suggest that we are heading in that direction.
While the day to day challenges that Covid-19 brings upon businesses make it hard for them to take the long view, it is important that all businesses consider the implications of a hard Brexit when they are developing their strategies to trade through Covid-19 over the next 6-12 months.
We are no closer to a deal today than we were in January. Neither side has made substantial compromises from their initial positions, the room for manoeuvre is reducing and the Global Economy’s trading environment has suffered the most significant shock ever.
Businesses, large and small, throughout the island must act as though a deal will not be forthcoming. Businesses need to interrogate their supply chains to ensure that they are not over exposed to the disruption in trade that a no-deal Brexit presents.
Firms that are supplied from, or through, Britain need to source alternative suppliers which can be swiftly introduced into their supply chains in the event of the logistical nightmare that a reversion to WTO rules inevitably presents.
Those businesses that export to Britain must put in place contingency plans to mitigate the damage that the absence of a trade deal will do to their business, while those that export through Britain need to have conducted trial runs on alternative routes to their markets which will avoid British ports.
There are only 133 days until the transition period ends and Britain’s status as a Third Country becomes a fait accompli. At this late stage, after over four years of British intransigence and improvisation, a no deal Brexit is the most probable outcome. Businesses need to act accordingly.”