Following the triggering of Article 50 this week, PwC Ireland has published its latest report on Brexit, The Signal from the Noise.
It says that the report is the firm’s bid to ‘bring greater clarity to the business community in Ireland and assist them in their Brexit planning process.’
PwC’s point of view is that the most likely outcome of Brexit negotiations will be that the UK will become what it calls a “Third Country” for trade purposes by the end of March 2019, when it will no longer be a member of the EU or a member of the European Economic Area.
It expects this outcome for four key reasons: it is unlikely that the UK will concede on free movement of people; the UK will not continue to make ongoing financial contributions to the EU; Brussels will prioritise negotiations on the UK's exit or 'divorce' terms insisting that the UK make a settlement on outstanding liabilities, estimated to range from €24.5bn to €72.8bn; and finally, there is simply not enough time and the UK Government has admitted that a full suite of trade deals could take up to 10 years to negotiate.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Feargal O'Rourke, Managing Partner, PwC Ireland, said, “With the UK Government invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, some clarity is emerging. We believe that it is likely that the UK will leave the EU by the end of March 2019, acquiring Third Country status with no trade or transition arrangements in place. At this stage, it is likely that World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules will kick-in to govern the future EU-UK trading relationship.
“However, operating WTO rules, while this now looks like the most probable path, may involve some lengthy negotiations between the UK and the WTO, the outcome which would most likely impact Ireland.”
"Nevertheless, businesses can now begin their Brexit plans in earnest. We are now at the start of the action phase of Brexit planning and, while there is a long road ahead, the end game is becoming a little clearer.”
David McGee, PwC Ireland Brexit Partner, added, “Whilst the ill-winds of Brexit may appear to be some way off, it would be foolish to ignore them. Irish companies trading with the UK now need to start planning for a World Trade Organisation regime post March 2019. Reasonable assumptions can be made, estimates can be calculated and the risks can be assessed. Mitigating actions can be taken.”
© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan