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Where to now for Brexit?

The Swings and Roundabouts

After a period of relative silence on the topic, Brexit has quickly become a hot conversation topic once more in recent weeks as Brexit talks begin to ramp up. Despite the constant chatter, however, there have been no official announcements or updates on what we can expect from a final Brexit decision. Naturally, this has caused an atmosphere of concern and uncertainty, particularly for our own minute island as questions about border issues, and difficulties in trade swarm around us and we remain uncertain about our place in all of this. As we have discussed recently however, many Irish companies appear to be thriving in this uncertainty and beginning the process of protecting their business against any potential fallout. Something we have learned from this continued confusion is that Irish companies show great resilience in the face of adversity and have attempted to learn the lessons enforced by the economic downturn.

Recently, there have been growing concerns about the impact Brexit could have on our already troubled housing sector. We have spoken at length in the past about the housing sector as rents continue to rise and many are being elbowed out of any attempts at gaining a foothold on the property ladder. It was announced this week that the Economic, Social and Research Institute (ESRI) believe that the country should make itself ready for Brexit to have an effect on housing, as they expect private sector construction to drop, encouraging the Government to invest more in social housing. It is also believed that rent increases will continue to spiral, leaving many more families in need of support. As well as the ESRI, the Nevin Economic Research Institute feels that housing issues will fluctuate massively following Brexit and that demand will reach an all-time high. It was reported this week that both bodies will present TDs with their findings on November 20th.

Head of Economics with the ESRI, Kieran McQuinn has stated that the Housing Assistance Payment may become the main income support for private renters in the wake of Brexit:

“If income and employment growth are slower than anticipated due to Brexit, the numbers of families that qualify for HAP over the coming years will likely be higher than currently expected,”

Mr McQuinn also believes that demand may decrease but that this may not have the expected positive implications. Meanwhile, the ERSI have highlighted that mortgage arrears remain an issue in Ireland, and that following Brexit, these arrears may continue to increase.

There is some mild good news on the horizon for prospective buyers, however as Mr McQuinn of ERSI has stated that Brexit may have the effect of slowing the increase of mortgage interests rates, which would in turn finally see some levels of affordability return to the Irish housing market.

Should you have any concerns, queries or require further information on these or any other business and financial matters please don’t hesitate to contact us we are always available to help.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

Brexit – Still No Clearer

Hope for the Brexit Best

It goes without saying that even those hiding under a rock with no Wi-Fi signal will by now have heard the word ‘Brexit’ by this point, meaning Britain’s highly controversial exit from the European Union. Brexit has proven to be a much more complex issue than it seemed was earlier anticipated and is now an issue fraught with tension and uncertainty for both Britain and our own little island which is often hidden under the safe shadow of its nearest neighbour.

In reports this week it seems that at this point the very notion of Brexit has become a rather messy one, with no parties having a clear understanding of what the final result will actually be. In this environment of uncertainty and as we rely on the UK so heavily for trade routes and business, it has been a cause for much concern in terms of Irish businesses. Terms like ‘Hard Brexit’ and ‘Soft Brexit’ have been thrown around a lot in recent weeks, but what is becoming apparent is that those who voted for Brexit may not be as in control of their destiny as they anticipated and may not have as much power to decide the terms of the departure. The British government continues to attempt to come to an agreement and create a plan which will be beneficial to the majority. As talks continue to fall apart it becomes increasingly clear that Brexit will not affect Britain in isolation, rather it will have a ripple effect across Europe. Even knowing this, it is easy to become tangled in terminology and speculation.

With this atmosphere of fear and uncertainty it came as somewhat of a surprise to hear our own Taoiseach’s assurances that Ireland needn’t be overly concerned as Brexit looms large over Europe. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has made an attempt to quash any lingering Irish fears, stating that Ireland is making contingency plans “in the unlikely event of a no-deal hard Brexit”. This may seem like a very relaxed attitude given the uncertainty surrounding Ireland’s position in this but also points to a new level of prosperity in Irish business and a certainty that we can hold our own in the European Union. There are even some whispers that this could be a very positive move for Irish trade and open us up to more opportunities than were available previously. It has however been suggested that it would be unwise for our Taoiseach to say too much in advance as there is no way of knowing the end result at this time.

This statement also shows a level of commitment to ensuring that no hard borders will spring up between the UK and Ireland which could damage Irish trade. This will be a crucial point of contention in the months ahead. As UK politicians battle to seek an alignment of ideals there is very little we can do on our side rather than take the traditional Irish standpoint of ‘prepare for the worst, hope for the best’.

Should you have any queries or require further information on this or any other business or financial matter please don’t hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA’s new head office, where as always we will be delighted to help.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY