18 October 2017
By Elaine Murphy
Chamber’s Director-General to speak at Bank of Ireland Brexit Roadshow today at 8am
As part of its efforts to help business in Cork to prepare for Brexit, the British Irish Chamber of Commerce has today announced its participation in the Bank of Ireland Brexit Roadshow taking place today at 8am in the Clayton Hotel, Cork city.
Given the continued uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process and its final outcome, the roadshow provides a unique opportunity for local businesses to better understand and prepare for this unprecedented challenge.
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are particularly exposed to the UK withdrawal from the EU given their strong export dependence on the UK, with over 40% of Irish SMEs exports being destined for that market. The high concentration of SMEs within the agri-food sector is also of concern due to the potential high tariffs of up to 60% that could be imposed as a result of Brexit.
Speaking in advance of the event, John McGrane, the Director-General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, said:
“The UK has long been a vital trading partner for Ireland and this is felt most accurately by local businesses, including those in Cork. Our indigenous industries such as agri-food, tourism and manufacturing all rely heavily on the UK market for their trade and thus most exposed to the potential dangers of Brexit. Any significant reduction in the trading environment for those sectors has the potential to derail Ireland’s economic recovery.
“The Bank of Ireland Brexit Roadshow forms a central aspect of our work in helping businesses face up to the challenges that lie ahead and put adequate plans in place to address this. Our recently published Brexit toolkit also provides practical advice and steps that firms can take now to help plan for whatever outcome might arise from the Brexit negotiation process.
“Rest assured that the Chamber will continue to advocate in the interests of our members for a sensible deal on Brexit and for policy measures that safeguard the long-term competitiveness of Irish SMEs. In particular, we have called on the Government to reinstate the reduced lower rate of employer PRSI to 4.25%, expand the Entrepreneur Relief on Capital Gains Tax (CGT) to a lifetime limit of €15m, and develop a marketing grant for Irish SMEs that are exposed to the UK akin to Bord Bia’s Marketing Intensification Programme.”
For more information on the British Irish Chamber of Commerce Brexit toolkit, please see: http://www.britishirishchamber.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/BICC-Brexit-Toolkit.pdf.