Building Your Business
98% of SMEs don’t have a Brexit PLAN

24 October 2017

Today PLATO joined almost 400 delegates for IntertradeIreland’s first Brexit Conference in the Titanic, Northern Ireland.

Hosted by award-winning journalist and broadcaster Mark Simpson, businesses were to receive up to date insights from Industry figures including Vincent Power from A&L Goodbody and Johnny Hanna from KPMG whilst David Meade, one of Europe's most dynamic, engaging, and sought after keynote speakers will provide delegates with the chance to learn about the importance of getting ready to embrace change using agile mind-set techniques. 

Dr Vincent Power of A&L Goodbody as Keynote speaker had a number of interesting remarks and suggestions of where companies should start in their preparations. He suggested it is a safer to assume Brexit will happen and not to be fooled, “Europe will negotiate late, hard and latent manner”. He also expressed that we’re not asking the right question – asking if it will be a hard or soft border is not the right question – it will be a Brexit spectrum and not a binary choice.”  Dr Vincent Power also cautioned against the possibility of an asymmetric border, bearing the costs of customs and tariffs having an impact on cashflow for a business, state aid rules may continue on but think of any implications for industry-university partnerships and also do not forget importance of lobbying and businesses may need to lobby embassies of trading partners. A Final thought from Vincent was, “Don’t wait until you have perfect knowledge to act”. IntertradeIreland’s Aidan Gough encourages SMEs to “Plan, Act and Engage!” he cited the statistic that “85% get information from TV News on Brexit” and Brexit Officer Mark Sterrit encourages businesses to engage with its advisory service and become aware of worst case scenario with respect to tariffs, so you can plan accordingly”. There are a multitude of non-tariff barriers to be aware of also.

Panel session was composed of product and service companies from Northern Ireland – Boomer industries Lisburn, Armagh Cider, McMahon Associates, Armagh. Some takeaways were:-

  • Getting the information now – exploring supply chain alternatives

  • Setting up base in EU Member state

  • Knowing your tariffs

  • New opportunities as a result

  • Dealing with labour shortages differently – mechanisation of the plant processes

  • Availing of Brexit Advisory Service

  • Citizenship issues across EU and for non-EU members

  • Introducing customer-trader status

  • Movement of goods and goods in transit status

More information available Here

  • Cavan
  • Louth
  • Meath
  • Monaghon