Only 1 in 7 small businesses in NI has plans for no-deal Brexit

Only one in seven small businesses in Northern Ireland have made plans for a no deal Brexit claims the Federation of Small Businesses in Northern Ireland.

Roger Pollen, the head of external communications with the federation says “people are sitting tight” as they feel they cannot make plans until they have all the facts.

Many fear they could make plans for 50 different contingencies and then find that there is a 51st scenario.

“They are hoping for some clarity at the 11th hour,” he told RTE radio’s Morning Ireland.

Mr Pollen warned that there could be a lot of market distortion if Irish companies use Northern Ireland as a route to the British market.

He was responding following the announcement that Britain will not introduce any new checks or controls on goods moving from Ireland to Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit, including no customs declarations for normal goods.

Announcing a series of “strictly temporary, unilateral” measures on Wednesday morning, the British government said its priority would be to enter into discussions with the European Commission and the Irish Government to jointly agree long-term measures to avoid a hard Border.

Britain also announced a temporary tariff regime for a no-deal scenario but said it would not apply tariffs on goods crossing the Border into Northern Ireland. It will be for the Irish Government and for the EU to determine what measures might be applied on goods.

Mr Pollen said that the move is asymmetric.

The UK is making that offer, but the problem is that the UK is negotiating with itself, not the EU.

The UK Treasury Plan is a legal route because of the Good Friday Agreement, he said as under World Trade Organisation rules allowances are made for special circumstances.

There is not a lot of time to start planning, added Mr Pollen, but it is not too late for the six out of seven small businesses that do not have a contingency plan.

More on this topic

What are the indicative votes MPs have secured and how will they work?

EU officials warn on no-deal Brexit: Fantasy a threat to 50,000 jobs

Sterling steadies despite political threat to May

UK is facing a ‘constitutional earthquake’

More in this Section

Apple ‘yet to convince’ it can compete with Netflix, industry expert says

IFG shares surge as it accepts €240m takeover bid

Dublin to fly Cork and Shannon's Norwegian passengers to US next week

Quinn family seeks to access money in frozen accounts to pay lawyers


25 years on: Do you recall where you were when you heard the news of Kurt Cobain's death?

MOMMY DEAREST: The portrayal of Irish mothers on screen

Making Cents: Consumers have more options with An Post

More From The Irish Examiner