Brexit and BEPS2 update from Ibec

Dear Member,

On Wednesday afternoon, Ibec again met Michel Barnier and had detailed discussions with senior members of his team in Brussels. The mood is downbeat, in advance of next week’s crucial votes in Westminster. Meetings with their UK counterparts are not going well. There is now an increased focus on the nature and period of a possible extension period.

Earlier that day, Ibec hosted a full house for a Brexit Q&A with Tánaiste Simon Coveney. He was optimistic that a ‘no deal’ scenario at the end of March would be avoided, but cautioned that business should continue to plan for all eventualities. He added that Government would make every effort to address disruption in the case of a ‘no deal’ exit, however, sectors subject to high tariff barriers would be seriously affected. Talks with the European Commission on possible state aid supports are at an advanced stage.

Yesterday, I participated in the Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF) chaired by An Taoiseach, who was joined by key cabinet colleagues. The agenda ranged across housing, pensions and labour market regulations. The priorities for Ibec’s campaigns Better Lives, Better Business and Smarter World, Smarter Work, was the focus of the business input at the meeting, however, Brexit uncertainty was the overarching concern with the Omnibus Bill pushing other legislative proposals further into the second quarter.

On global tax reform, following detailed discussions with members, Ibec has submitted its position to the OECD’s BEPS2 consultation. This is another step in the process by which the OECD aims to build a global consensus on solutions to tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy. The next milestone is June when a detailed OECD paper will be published for the G20 meeting. The Ibec position seeks a broad-based global solution that would seek to align profit with substance worldwide. Ibec is the sole representative of Irish business at the OECD and given the increased globalisation of our economic model, this aspect of our work on your behalf has never been more important. You can read the full Ibec submission here.

In this regard, Ibec’s private dinner for members and stakeholders in Washington DC next week is timely and undoubtedly the US-Irish dimension of the digital economy will be a significant theme.

Finally to mark International Women’s Day 2019, I hope you can take the time to listen to a special Ibec Podcast featuring Frances Fitzgerald, TD, Anne Heraty, CEO of CPL Resources plc, and Ibec’s Dr Kara McGann discussing the theme of Better Balance for Better Business.

If you have any queries or comments, please get in touch. It’s always good to hear from you.

Best wishes,

Danny McCoy
Ibec CEO
Friday, 8 March 2019