InterTrade Ireland director says Brexit threatens island-wide services

The head of InterTrade Ireland said companies providing services north and south of the border could soon face difficulties in trading, data transmission and recruitment.

argaret Hearty, chief executive officer of the island-wide trade promotion agency, said the impact of Brexit was yet to be fully seen on the services sector.

She said the ongoing controversy over the Northern Ireland protocol over the 2019 Brexit deal also caused uncertainty and “had a dampening effect on investment”.

Services are not included in the protocol – which effectively keeps the North a single EU goods market – or the EU-UK trade deal 2020.

“The removal of Northern Ireland from the EU single services market also has an impact on companies with island-wide prospects or aspirations,” she said during a hearing at the joint business committee Oireachtas today.

“Many companies are still working on the impacts on service delivery, and it is likely that further challenges will arise in several areas for service companies in the months and years ahead. next.

“These challenges will likely focus on the areas of market access, data sharing, and skills.”

Ireland’s service exports north of the border account for only 1 per cent of Ireland’s total service exports and are concentrated in the computer and business sectors.

But Ireland is the destination for 17 percent of Northern Ireland’s service flows, according to the Institute for Economic and Social Research.

Barriers to trade or recruitment could emerge if London or Brussels change their rules on data privacy or qualifications in the future.

Irish companies could face an extra €1 billion in costs if the UK leaves the EU privacy regulations, the Data Protection Commissioner estimates.

Such a move could lead to the EU having to suspend a four-year data safety agreement with the UK agreed to last year, leaving healthcare, financial services and corporate media is at greatest risk, according to a recent report by Seanad’s Brexit committee.

Meanwhile, an official at the Enterprise Bureau has warned food and agriculture companies to prepare for the introduction of new veterinary checks in the UK this summer.

The controls were delayed until the protocol row was resolved.

Anne Coleman-Dunne told the joint business committee during the hearing that the delay was a “temporary amnesty” and that the full impact of Brexit on Irish exports “has not really been felt”.

Central Statistics Office figures show that Ireland’s merchandise exports to the UK have grown by 17pc in 2021, largely due to increased chemical exports. Goods imports from the UK are down 13 per cent from 2020 levels, largely due to a drop in agri-food trade. InterTrade Ireland director says Brexit threatens island-wide services

Fry Electronics Team

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