Northern Ireland's Futures

Three perspectives on leaving the European Union
Thursday 30th March 2017
Baby Grand, Grand Opera House, Belfast

Preparing for Brexit
An in-depth examination of three perspectives

Now that details of the UK’s preferred option for leaving the EU is becoming clearer – a complete break from the single market and the customs union – this seminar will examine the WTO scenario and its potential impact for Northern Ireland. It will explore the impact that leaving the single market and the custom union may have on your organisation and the sector it operates in. Delegates will then be able to use this information, presented by expert speakers, to inform their own plans.
According to a recent study, 70% of Northern Ireland businesses do not have a plan in place to deal with Brexit. With many challenges ahead, now is the time to look at how best to respond and devise a strategy.

Customs Union and Northern Ireland

Practicalities of the Customs Union

  • *Non-agricultural goods could continue to be exported to and imported from the EU-27 – so including Ireland – tariff and quota-free.
  • *Would not entail participation in the Common Agricultural Policy, so access to the EU-27 market for agricultural goods would need to be negotiated separately.
  • *Would require the UK to align itself with the EU’s common commercial policy. While this should allow the same access as the EU-27 to the markets of states with which the EU has established trade agreements, the UK would not be able to conclude any free trade agreements with EU non-member states that did not align with those of the EU.
  • *The customs union does not cover trade in services. It does not cover either the free movement of people, so there would need to be immigration controls of some sort as well as customs controls for agricultural goods.
Customs Union

Northern Ireland in the Single Market

Practicalities of the Single Market

  • *The free movement of goods, services, capital and people, including the right of establishment.
  • *No tariffs or quotas on trade in goods, albeit with the exception of agricultural products.
  • *Covers free movement well beyond goods; there would be no restrictions on the movement of EU citizens, or on capital.
  • *Would not entail participation in the Common Agricultural Policy, so access for agricultural goods negotiated separately. Assuming non-participation in the customs union, there would also need to be customs controls to monitor agricultural trade.
  • *US goods imported into the UK could not automatically be sold on into the EU market. Being outside the customs union, the UK would, however, be able to conclude its own preferential trade agreements with EU non-member states.
EU Flag

WTO Scenario

Leaving Customs Union and Single Market

  • *UK could conclude free trade agreements compliant with WTO rules with EU non- member states, its access to the EU-27 market would be subject to tariffs and quotas.
  • *Non-tariff barriers would also be applicable. Moreover any trade agreement with the EU would have to be with the EU-27; the UK would not be able to conclude preferential trade agreements with individual EU member states, e.g. Ireland.
  • *No free movement of services, capital or people. Access to the EU in each case would need to be negotiated.
World Trade Organisation

Who is the conference for?

This conference will be relevant to anyone with an interest in how Brexit will affect them on their organisation going forward. The implications of Brexit for Northern Ireland will be far reaching and the event should be of particular interest to:

  • Chief Executives / directors / senior managers
  • Public sector leaders
  • Local elected representatives
  • Economists
  • Voluntary / community sector leaders / NGOs
  • Private sector industry leaders
  • Financial organisations
  • Lawyers
  • Business advisors
  • Exporting organisations
  • Tourism providers
  • Retail organisations
  • Transport companies

Why should you attend?

  • Practicalities of Brexit explained for Northern Ireland policy matters;
  • Expert analysis from experienced economic academics;
  • Insight from key business leaders, in core sectors of Northern Ireland economy;
  • Information to prepare for numerous outcomes; Brexit made relevant to your sector;
  • Valuable discussion forum with cross-sectoral reach.