There will be tariffs - and they're going to cost you

There will be tariffs – and they’re going to cost you

Delighted to take part in Good Morning Ulster (02:11:35) debate this morning on Brexit in the wake of the Taoiseach and Foreign Affairs Ministers comments. was set up with a firm recognition that there was a lot of wishful thinking going on post Brexit and that people were not facing up to a clear and present danger of tariffs.  Brexit was a unique and frankly unexpected event, so the post-referendum chaos was understandable and the brief period of wishful thinking on the part of stunned political leaders was to some extent even excusable.  A survey by Intertrade Ireland around the time of the referendum revealed two startling and related statistics:

97% of businesses in Ireland had no Brexit plan

For 80 % their main source of information on Brexit was TV news bulletins

We argued for the need to get real, to establish the true facts of our situation, to encourage and treasure sound analysis and inspired commentary, and above all to disseminate these to the communities and enterprises that have an absolute need to be well informed so that they can make good decisions. That in a nutshell is what the Brexit Border Blog seeks to do.

In the past four months we have collected over 70 reports which reflect on a wide range of issues affecting a myriad of sectors.

Two must reads which are as important in terms of who has published them as for what they say. The first is from the House of Lords which warns the implications of Brexit for Ireland are more profound than they are for any other Member State.

The other is the Institute of Directors which, while underscoring the extent of Irish- UK and North-South Trade, says that crucially any impediment to supply chains must be minimised. “The more impediments that exist to doing business, the less business that will be done.”

We are in the process of completing a narrative survey along the Southern side of the border commissioned by the British Irish Chamber of Commerce (you’ll find some of its own reports here) and Chambers Ireland, which finds among other things that businesses want to plan but don’t know what they are planning for.  Almost straight away Brexit was real for those businesses because of the currency issue but now the bigger worries are hoving into view and one of those is the prospect of tariffs and a hard customs border. The impact will affect not just Northern Ireland, but the whole island and the UK.