Belfast Telegraph

Brexit: Prepare for no-deal, says accountants

Problems: Niall Harkin
Problems: Niall Harkin

By Cate McCurry

An organisation representing accountants has warned firms on the island of Ireland not to be complacent that a Brexit deal will be agreed.

Chartered Accountants Ireland said there is "no hard evidence" MPs in Westminster will back Theresa May's Brexit deal at the crucial vote next week.

In a joint statement, the chairs of the Chartered Accountants Ulster Society and the Chartered Accountants Ireland London Society said they are advising businesses to prepare for a no-deal Brexit and for the reintroduction of tariffs and quotas on imports and exports between the UK and the European Union from the end of March.

The bodies said they have concerns about the readiness of the SME sector to deal with these challenges.

Niall Harkin, chairman of the Chartered Accountants Ulster Society, said: "Generally, aside from the agribusiness sectors, it is not the amount of customs duties to be reintroduced that will pose problems for businesses in the UK and Northern Ireland in particular.

"Rather, it is the disruption which will be caused by customs checking at the borders with the EU and the increased administration that this will bring.

"Furthermore, many businesses will encounter a new up-front VAT charge on imported goods which will impact on cash flow."

Gerry Nicholas, chairman of Chartered Accountants Ireland London Society, added chartered accountants will be dealing with any new trading obligations.

Belfast Telegraph