Firms must prepare for hard Brexit, Irish central bank says

Ed Sibley [Irish Central Bank]

It is entirely possible that Britain will leave the European Union without a transition agreement, and companies need to do more to prepare for an abrupt departure, Irish Central Bank Deputy Governor Ed Sibley said yesterday (17 October).

Negotiations on the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU have made slow progress before a March 2019 deadline. Talks on the transition period have not even begun.

Brexit talks hit cash impasse, Barnier worried about ‘thousands of projects’

British and EU negotiators hit a dead-end over money in four days of talks, the European Union’s Michel Barnier said today (12 October) as he ruled out discussions on future trade being allowed to start by EU leaders next week.

EU leaders meet on Thursday and Friday to discuss Brexit, and a draft communique showed they won’t adopt guidelines on possible transitional arrangements until December.

EU summit to offer May hope of talks on post-Brexit relationship

European Union leaders could hand Theresa May an olive branch in deadlocked Brexit negotiations next week by launching their own internal preparations for a transition to a new relationship with Britain.

JPMorgan said on Monday the chance of a “no deal” Brexit had risen to 25% from 15% previously, in line with the consensus of a Reuters poll of economists published last month.

“It is entirely plausible, while it might well be regrettable, that there will be a hard Brexit with no transition period, and much more work needs to be done to prepare for this plausible scenario, particularly in the insurance sector,” Sibley said in a speech at a conference in Dublin.

One of Ireland’s senior civil servants told the same conference that Britain had failed to understand that while a disorderly exit would be disastrous for both it and Ireland, it might be a price the rest of the EU is willing to pay.

“The worst-case scenario of Britain leaving in a disorderly fashion would be a catastrophe for us, for the UK, but for the EU as a whole, for many counties in the EU, it won’t be a catastrophe, it will be a cost,” said Robert Watt, secretary general at Ireland’s Department of Public Expenditure.

The Brief, powered by Eurogas – Squaring the circle of the Irish border

One of the three big issues in the first phase of Brexit talks, next to the financial settlement and citizens’ rights, is the problem of the Irish border – the UK’s only physical contact with the rest of the EU.

“That’s something, particularly in the debate in the UK, that’s missed. I think this is what the UK have misunderstood. There is a cost and Europe is willing to pay that price in order to keep the union together.”

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