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Brace for a breakdown, Feargal warns businesses

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

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THE President of Chartered Accountants Ireland Feargal McCormack, has advised businesses to prepare for a potential breakdown in talks between the UK and the EU or for Brexit itself.
Speaking to The Newry Democrat after the launch of the 'Taking the Lead' document, which was jointly published by Chartered Accountants Ireland and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Mr McCormack said the document has been received "very positively".
The document, which is available on Chartered Accountants Ireland's website, offers guidance to help businesses prepare for the customs checks and controls they could face after Brexit.
Mr McCormack, who is also the Managing Director of PKF-FPM, said the biggest issue facing businesses right now is the uncertainty surrounding Britain's exit from the European Union.
“Once it [uncertainty] continues for a period of time, it has the impact of deferring investment decisions and impinges on confidence," he explained. "It's acknowledged throughout the world that businesses like to have some certainty and a way forward.
“Where there is a confident environment or framework, business normally thrives."
Mr McCormack went on to say that businesses must prepare for the worst case scenario - the collapse of Brexit negotiations - and the Taking the Lead document is an important tool which business owners can use to help deal with that.
“Hopefully good rules will be made on the island of Ireland and between Europe and the UK, however, some of the ideas of examining supply chains is probably good for businesses anyway," he commented.
“Businesses need to look at their cash flow, have a good understanding of customs and how customs operate.
“At the current stage, and this is why the document was brought out, it's very important for people to understand the difference in terminology such as the single market, customs union or the world trade organisation."
Reflecting on the Prime Minister's decision not to visit Newry last week as part of her two day tour of Northern Ireland, Mr McCormack said it was very positive that she visited a border area and the country itself.
“The more that leaders and people that are actually involved in the negotiations visit Northern Ireland and indeed Ireland, is very helpful," he stated.
“It's important she hears comments from businesses and people living in Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland."

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