Ireland is offering businesses up to 60,000 euros ($67,000) each, to train staff on filing customs returns, as it clambers to prepare for the possibility of Britain, its nearest neighbour and a major trading partner, leaving the European Union without a deal, Reuters reported.
Among the remaining EU members, the Irish economy is considered the most vulnerable to Brexit and faces a 12-fold rise in the number of import and export declarations made by local companies, in the event of a no-deal British exit.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that he will take the United Kingdom out of the bloc on Oct. 31st, come what may, even without a transitional deal needed to pave the way for future relations with the EU.
The economic impact of Brexit is negative, not just for the UK, but for Ireland and the rest of the EU as well.
Michael D'Arcy, Ireland's minister in charge of financial services, told Reuters he believed Britain will leave without a deal, causing a severe economic shock that could require pan-EU financial support for countries including Ireland.
The biggest impact will be in the UK itself and in Ireland, its closest trading partner. For the UK, any trade arrangement reached after Brexit, barring full membership of the EU trading bloc, which the UK has ruled out, will be less favourable than current arrangements.
For Ireland, growth remains strong, and the main short-term impact has been via a weaker sterling exchange rate, which is good if you are going to the UK to buy a second-hand car, but bad if you are an exporter to the UK market.
The main threat to Brexit comes from barriers to exports to the UK, and also delays and higher prices for importers of UK goods to Ireland. Forecasters have estimated that in a harder version of Brexit, where the UK leaves the EU trading bloc, the Irish economy could be 4% to 7% lower in a decade’s time, with most of the hit in the first five years.
A no-deal Brexit means the economic effect would be more severe and happen more quickly.
The Irish government will offer firms 6,000 euros ($6,730) per trainee, up to a maximum of ten per company, as well as a free training programme, for all eligible customs agents, intermediaries and affected businesses, as it said the country will not have enough agents to help firms file returns, if Britain crashes out without a deal.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said in a statement, "If you trade with the UK, Brexit will most definitely impact your business. This targeted measure is aimed at supporting and incentivising capacity building in the customs agent sector.”