Brexit Update on Theresa May's Speech: Time to start planning is now

02 March 2018

Carol Lynch, Partner, BDO Customs and International Trade provides commentary on today's speech from the British Prime Minister.


Theresa May has confirmed this afternoon that the UK will leave the Customs Union, will leave the EU and will be separate to it. They also intend to negotiate their own Trade Agreements - a Global Britain approach which has been a concern for the EU and Revenue in terms of facilitating customs arrangements.

In terms of the Northern Ireland border this latest news provides no new information other than an increased focus on trying to achieve a technological solution to the border, accompanied by the use of The Trusted Trader programme.  More typical arrangements are planned for the Ports.

In advising clients one of the criticial issues here is that it takes 12 months from the date of application for Trusted Trader status to date, of authorisation in the UK, with 40% of applicants failing

In Ireland the lead time is about 6 months.  However businesses will also need to build in 3-6 months to prepare the application.

The key take-away from today is the need for busineses to plan ahead for customs and other potential requirements such as new company set ups, tax planning and vat registrations.  This means businesses will have a lot of work to undertake through 2018.

Looking at the current timlines the message is clear, companies need to start preparing sooner rather than later.

For further information on how we can assist you, please contact Carol Lynch on +353 1 4700491,  clynch@bdo.ie or a member of the Brexit Taskforce team on +353 1 470 0420.