What is Brexit?

Process and negotiations

The United Kingdom (UK) held a Brexit referendum on 23 June 2016. They subsequently invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.

The consequence of these actions is that the UK are scheduled to leave the European Union (EU) and, therefore, become a non-EU country.

Invoking of Article 50 triggered the start of a two-year negotiation process. The objective of the negotiations is to agree the terms of the UK's departure from the EU in an orderly manner.

A draft Withdrawal Agreement is under discussion since February 2018. Please see the European Council timeline of events for further information.

On 28 October 2019, the European Council and the UK agreed to a flexible extension of Article 50 until 31 January 2020.

The Revenue Chairman’s Opening Statement to the Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform and Taoiseach in May 2017 provides some additional background.

Revenue and Brexit

Revenue's objective, post-Brexit, is to facilitate legitimate trade to move as speedily and efficiently as possible. This is for trade that is directly with the UK or through the UK landbridge to the European mainland. Our focus is on assisting business to:

  • assess the impact of Brexit
  • and
  • avail fully of relevant simplifications and procedures available under the Union Customs Code.

This will minimise the potential negative impacts of Brexit and support the efficient and timely flow of trade.

Our preparations and planning are well advanced. Our priority has been to ensure that our IT systems will support smooth and efficient trade flows post-Brexit. Our systems will have the capacity to deal with the increase in volumes that will arise with the operation of customs procedures for the UK related movement of goods and animals.

In line with government approval we have begun to recruit additional staff to deal with East-West trade. We are also working with our ports and airports for a changed trading environment after Brexit.

We are also engaging directly with businesses, economic operators, trade and representative bodies to support preparedness for Brexit.

EU notices and information

The European Commission has provided information about the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU).

You will find this information in the European Commission notices about Brexit preparedness. These notices include Notice to Stakeholders - withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules in the field of Customs and Indirect Taxation.

You will find the most up to date news about the ongoing negotiations in Negotiating Documents on Article 50 negotiations with the UK.

Further information

If you have a specific query in relation to Brexit and customs matters, please email brexitqueries@revenue.ie with the relevant details.