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70 days until Brexit transition ends – Coveney

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has called on all Irish businesses who rely on suppliers, producers, clients and customers from the UK to immediately check on their preparations for Brexit.

Simon Coveney said that while the UK officially left the EU at the end of January this year, the real impact of Brexit has been masked and held back because the transition period kept the rules the same. 

“From today there are only 70 days until that runs out. There will be no extension. There will be no more time. This is it,” Mr Coveney stated. 

The Minister said the focused and renewed negotiations that began in London yesterday are welcome.

But he added that even if they are successful, there will be significant changes for how business is conducted next January with a UK that is outside the EU.

“Trade deal or no trade deal, things like online shopping, moving our goods between Ireland and Great Britain and getting our products to the rest of the EU single market are going to be different,” Mr Coveney said. 

He cautioned that all businesses – big and small – will be impacted. Goods moving to, from and through Great Britain will face a range of checks and controls that simply do not apply to this trade today. 

“I know this year has been punishing for business, but if you haven’t taken action and prepared for Brexit, you need to do so now.  Failing to do so may prevent you from trading,” he warned. 

Simon Coveney said he hoped the Brexit talks succeeded but added that the country must also prepare for the real possibility of WTO tariffs and quotas on January 1.

“Tariffs would have a big and immediate economic impact, particularly in sectors like agri-food and fisheries,” he said. 

The Minister said he had spoken to the European Commission this week and remains in constant contact with Michel Barnier. 

“In summary, this deal is doable but difficult…and certainly not guaranteed,” he said.

Actions that individual businesses should take are laid out alongside government actions in the Brexit Readiness Plan published last month. 

Key information and the entire plan is available on 

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