A new survey reveals that 72% of construction firms in Ireland are not prepared for Brexit. Considering the huge amount of work being done at political level and the advice and assistance on offer from the Office of Public Works, various business bodies, Enterprise Ireland, chambers of commerce, the Irish SME Association, along with the availability of Government grants, that is a shocking statistic.
The Construction Industry Federation study reveals that two out of every five companies questioned confirmed Brexit will have an immediate impact on their business, yet almost three quarters said they have done no impact assessment.
If those in the construction industry think they are insulated from the effects of a no-deal scenario they might consider the experience of their colleagues in the haulage industry, on which they depend for the import of materials. Hauliers have just been given a wake-up call by French customs staff who staged a work-to-rule on Tuesday that led to delays of three hours for truckers at the British port of Folkestone.
Many Irish truckers use Britain as a land bridge to the Continent and cross to France from southern English ports. One Irish truck driver went through British emigration and security checks and then had to go through checks with French customs for the first time in three to four years.
“Brexit has arrived early,” he told RTÉ radio. “When Brexit comes in it will be twice as bad.”