Dublin, 2 March 2017 – Market uncertainty about Brexit will continue for the foreseeable future and Irish firms need to mitigate the risks as best as possible a packed audience of governance, risk and compliance professionals was told this morning at an event looking at the next steps arising from the UK’s vote to leave the EU last June. Organised by the Irish Region of ICSA: The Governance Institute and hosted by William Fry, the ‘Brexit – What Next?’ event highlighted the need for businesses to remain focused as the future of Ireland’s relationship with the UK will not be settled within the two-year timeframe suggested by Article 50.
Cormac Little, Partner and Head of Competition & Regulation at William Fry said "Article 50 suggested that the UK's withdrawal agreement will be finalised in two years. However, this ignores the fact that the approval of the EU's Council of Ministers and European Parliament, on the one side, and Westminster, on the other, is required. In reality therefore, both the EU and UK negotiating teams will be very pressed for time once the PM fires the starting pistol. The future of Ireland’s relationship with the UK will not be fully determined within this timeframe."
Brendan Donovan Head of Commercial & Business Treasury AIB, said that market uncertainty is likely to continue for some time. The Irish Economy continues to be highly vulnerable and a “hard Brexit” is now likely in due course unless a significant change in the UK political backdrop occurs. In a scenario where trade with the UK equates to 35% of Irish GDP and the UK takes over 40% of Irish indigenous firm exports, Irish firms should identify the risks facing them and mitigate their risks as best as possible by formulating a plan of action, keeping themselves informed and utilising their relationships with their banking and specialist advisors.
Finally, Eoin Caulfield, a Partner in William Fry's Insurance & Reinsurance Department stated that "Brexit brings with it uncertainties for company secretaries, such as UK directors no longer being suitable for EEA director requirements (Section 137 of the Companies Act 2014). There is a loss of restructuring approaches like cross-border mergers and an unclear regulatory regime. While concepts such as “equivalence” for a non-EEA UK group may help, it is not a full solution. Further work is required here."
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For further information, please contact
Ruairi Cosgrove, Chair of ICSA Ireland
+353 (0)1 792 6070
Maria Brookes, Media Relations Manager
+44 (0)20 761207072
Notes to Editors: