Brexit, Brexit….. questions, questions…

Our Cover Story this month, 'Wine's long and winding post-Brexit road', looks at what may happen to the industry’s main import and export route when the dust of Brexit has finally settled.

It makes clear that the UK has its view on what it would like to see happen in relation to its trading relations with the EU while the EU – and by inference Ireland – has its own very different view on what might be done by way of a trade agreement.

Either way, getting product into and out of Ireland is going to be affected – and not in a good way.

It could be even more complex for excisable goods.

For example, some 15% of our wine imports come via the UK. What happens when the Common Customs Tariff can no longer apply and what amount of paperwork will be involved in bringing EU wine out of the EU (via a Brexited Britain) and then back into the EU again? Will a duty-suspended arrangement be possible with a non-EU country? Will the UK decide to skyrocket its Customs Tariff? Will wine suppliers here feel forced to explore other options? Are there other options, practically speaking?

With four in five export-laden goods vehicles leaving our shores intending to travel on to the EU via the UK, what new barriers might a Brexited Britain pose to our goods in transit before reaching the calm waters of the EU harbour once again?

Then there’s the return journey…

And what about our direct trade with the UK?

How will the demise of Sterling affect all this? 39% of respondents to a recent Bord Bia Brexit Barometer survey stated that an exchange rate of 0.89 would cause severe difficulties while a rate of 90p – 94p would cause difficulty for over 80% of respondents.

A recent Seanad Report confirmed that Post-Brexit trade with the UK could decline by up to 20% and as many as 40,000 jobs could be lost.

Over a year on since the UK voted for Brexit, we remain in a situation where nobody knows anything about what is going to happen.

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