News & Events

Minister Humphreys hosts Brexit information session in Donegal for SMEs in the border region

  • Meeting held in Donegal Town ahead of Cabinet meeting in Glencolmcille

  • New Brexit Preparedness Checklist highlights essential “no regret” actions that firms should take

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, today (25th July) hosted a workshop in Donegal to help SMEs from Donegal and the surrounding border counties of Sligo and Leitrim to prepare for Brexit.

The workshop, which follows similar events in Cavan and Monaghan, was designed to give companies practical advice about the steps they should take now to ensure that they can continue to trade with the UK once it leaves the EU.

The events provide an opportunity for the Minister to speak directly to companies impacted by Brexit in the border region, and for these companies to hear firsthand from a large number of Government Agencies about the range of supports available to assist them with their Brexit preparations.

Representatives from the Local Enterprise Offices, Enterprise Ireland, InterTrade Ireland, the National Standards Authority of Ireland, the Health and Safety Authority, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Revenue and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine attended the event in Donegal to engage with businesses.

Speaking at the workshop, which was attended by over 100 companies from the three counties, Minister Humphreys said: “We cannot assume that because a no deal scenario was avoided in March and April, the same will happen again in October. Brexit may have been postponed but it is not going away and the closer we get to the 31st October, the higher the stakes get.”

The Minister continued: “Many businesses are telling me that it is difficult to plan for a situation that remains so unpredictable. That is understandable. Having managed a business myself, I know that it can be difficult to plan from week-to-week let alone beyond that, and into the unknown. Notwithstanding the uncertainty, however, there are several areas where firms can take immediate action to prepare”

Speaking directly to businesses, the Minister said: “I am asking you to look at your supply chains, customs procedures, certification, and standards and licencing processes. You should also consider currency volatility and familiarise yourselves with the many State supports and loans schemes available from Government.

“Last but certainly not least, register now with Revenue for a customs identification number, known as an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number. It’s a simple procedure that only takes a few minutes but without this number you simply won’t be able to trade with the UK after Brexit. The time to act is now.”

The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, also addressed the event and he stated that, as a Minister from the border area, he has a deep understanding of the challenges that Brexit presents for businesses and enterprise in the region and hopes that today’s event will be of practical use to those impacted.  He emphasised the continued cooperation between Ireland and the UK on education under the Common Travel Area, as well as the importance of strong North-South education and training collaboration into the future.  Minister McHugh and the Government have ensured that education cooperation will continue unfettered by Brexit at all levels in the system in and across these islands.

At today’s workshop, Minister Humphreys also drew companies’ attention to a new Brexit Preparedness Checklist prepared for firms by her Department. This checklist highlights the main areas of business that will be impacted by Brexit and identifies the essential actions that firms can take in advance of 31st October to ensure that they will still be able to trade with the UK after it leaves the EU. The checklist includes links to the relevant Agencies who can provide the necessary guidance and support to firms and is available to download from www.dbei.gov.ie/brexit.  

ENDS

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

For further information please contact Press Office, D/Business, Enterprise and Innovation, press.office@dbei.gov.ie or (01) 631 2200

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