How does Brexit affect Irish businesses?

After a long negotiation period between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU), the UK’s vote to exit the EU officially came into effect at the beginning of 2021. The so-called Brexit defines the new relationship between the UK and EU countries, which affects various aspects of international trade, travel, and work. Since Ireland remains a member of the European Union, it has suffered from complications in business relationships and the economy. So, what is the impact of Brexit on businesses in Ireland?


Northern Ireland protocol

Special trading arrangements had to be made as a part of the Brexit since Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and shares a land border with the EU member Republic of Ireland. These arrangements, known as the Northern Ireland Protocol, are supposed to prevent a hard border between the two mentioned countries. Before Brexit, transport across the border used to be trouble-free since EU rules applied on both sides, but now complications arise. The European Union requires inspections of certain goods entailing a hard border with checkpoints and inspections, as well as a lot of paperwork. As a consequence of these complications, the supply in Irish supermarkets and grocery stores decreased and product orders are delayed.

Brexit's effect on Irish trade

Having easy access to the UK market used to be a big part of Irish trade. However, goods are now moved between EU and non-EU countries which means that new rules apply. Additional paperwork has to be filed and custom duties are required. These changes in light of the Northern Ireland Protocol hamper access to the UK market and cause complications affecting the whole supply chain. Issues such as bottlenecks, delays, and subsequent supply shortages transform the relationships between Irish companies and suppliers from the UK. Irish companies might switch to EU partnerships in fear of future tariffs on UK imports for example.

Effect on employment 

Since the Brexit, employment requirements have changed and companies operating in Ireland and the UK work in two different legal systems, presenting very complex problems for HR. Irish companies that employ non-Irish and non-UK personnel in the UK need to apply for work permits, and sponsorship licenses as well as deal with very difficult social security costs. With the current labour shortages, this is a real challenge for Irish companies.

Are there opportunities in Brexit's aftermath? 

Even though Brexit’s aftermath includes a lot of challenges and complications for Ireland, it is always important to see the positive side of things. Ireland remains the only primarily English-speaking country in the EU, which puts it in a very attractive position for UK-based companies that want to relocate as well as U.S. companies that want to have better access to the EU market with an English-speaking base. Moreover, the challenges Ireland had to face can be an impulse to seek new economic relationships and market opportunities outside of the United Kingdom.

Nevertheless, dealing with the mentioned issues requires a lot of experience in the European market, and that is where EuroDev comes into play. With EuroDev, you can hire abroad fast without worrying about setting up an entity. You will stay compliant in every European country of your choice, and you will have an excellent team experienced to offer the necessary HR support. Let’s chat about the next steps for your hiring in Europe

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About EuroDev

EuroDev, established in 1996 with offices in The Netherlands, has a single, defined purpose to help mid-sized North American companies expand their business in Europe. We have created a proven, successful business development model and since our founding, have partnered with over 500 companies to help them define and meet their European business goals. Services provided include Sales Outsourcing, HR Outsourcing, and Digital Marketing.

Source: BBC, European Commission

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