Thursday, 26 September 2019

Ceisteanna (116)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

116. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the reason she did not write to the 222,000 companies to prepare for Brexit earlier in 2019. [39255/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

As the Brexit deadline of 31 October 2019 draws nearer, I am very conscious of the urgent need for businesses to take action to prepare and plan for Brexit, despite continuing political uncertainty. That is why Government has intensified efforts over the last number of weeks and months to communicate with companies to get engagement and encourage them to take the necessary steps to be best prepared for Brexit.

In relation to the specific initiative that the deputy refers to, I recently asked my officials to make contact with the 220,000 companies listed with the Companies Registration Office (CRO) to advise them of the array of supports and the organisations available to assist them with their Brexit preparations.

This outreach was in fact specifically timed to coincide with the key filing period during which companies file their annual returns at the CRO. Companies typically file their annual returns from the start of October over a 4 week period. My initiative was designed in order to get maximum impact with companies visiting the CRO website during that key filing period.

This latest initiative through the CRO was just one of the many channels and campaigns that my Department has been engaged in to communicate with businesses to get out the key messages in terms of steps they need to take to prepare for Brexit.

In addition, the enterprise and regulatory agencies under my Department have been working closely with businesses for months through their own engagement campaigns and client clinics. These include Enterprise Ireland, the Local Enterprise Boards, the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), the Health and Safety Authority, the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB), the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission as well as Intertrade Ireland.

On 4 September, with the Tánaiste and Minister McEntee, I launched the ‘Getting Your Business Brexit Ready: Practical Steps Guide’ which focuses on the nine steps every business should take regardless of its size. This guide is available on www.gov.ie/brexit, along with other useful information for companies.

I recently collaborated with the Accountancy Bodies of Ireland on four breakfast Brexit briefing events covering a number of counties in the border regions that are likely to be most impacted by Brexit. These Brexit events covered a broad range of important topics to help businesses prepare for Brexit such as customs, supply chain, cashflow and accreditation.

Across all Government Departments, including the Departments of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Transport as well as Government agencies such as the Revenue Commissioners and other regulatory bodies, work has been ongoing and intensified over the summer period to engage with businesses to ensure that they are taking the necessary steps to meet the challenges of Brexit.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is currently running a number of outreach events with the first event taking place in Dublin on 10 September, and a further two events planned for Wexford on 27 September and in Cork on 30 September.

During the summer months, Revenue wrote to over 90,000 businesses in relation to new customs procedures that will apply post Brexit including the need to register with Revenue for an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI) to allow them to continue trading with the UK.

Through these various engagements and others, it is Government's clear intention to ensure that businesses are as well prepared as possible for Brexit, whenever that happens.