The IAASA Brexit Breakfast Briefing 2018 took place on the 24 October 2018 in the Hilton Hotel, Charlemont Place, Dublin 2. The event attracted a wide variety of attendees from multiple industries and professions across the island of Ireland. The event started with a brief introduction from Martin Sisk, Chairperson to the Board of IAASA detailing the purpose of the event and introducing the speakers to the attendees.
Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, was first to address those in attendance. The Minister outlined the current status of negotiations on Brexit and her desire to see the best possible outcome for the people and businesses of Ireland when brokering a Brexit deal in 2019. She acknowledged that the level of uncertainty surrounding Brexit has made it difficult for businesses to plan. The Minister informed all that Brexit negotiations were still currently ongoing and that all businesses need to be prepared for all outcomes.
Chartered Accountants Ireland President, Feargal McCormack, spoke about his concerns over Brexit and the affect it could have on Ireland, including investment and business growth. Mr. McCormack stressed the importance of a healthy relationship between Irish businesses both north and south of the border. He also set out the key outcomes that the audit profession seek from the negotiations.
EY Ireland Chief Economist Professor Neil Gibson spoke in detail about the positives of Brexit and the opportunities for Ireland as a result of Britain eventually leaving the EU. Mr. Gibson informed those in attendance that there has been 75,000 new jobs created in the Republic of Ireland in the past 12 months and a further 15,000 jobs in Northern Ireland. Mr Gibson also identified Dublin as the most likely destination for UK based business’ post-Brexit with a forecast of a further 250,000 jobs created in the next four to five years.
Finally, IAASA Chief Executive, Kevin Prendergast spoke from the Authority’s point of view. Mr Prendergast outlined the regulatory challenges facing the profession both transitional and long term, arising from Brexit. Mr Prendergast stated that in the absence of a transitional agreement as part of a withdrawal agreement, advice from the Attorney General received by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation indicated that UK auditors will no longer be recognised in the Republic of Ireland after the UK leaves the EU.