The omnibus bill intended to deal with a no-deal Brexit was published by the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney on 22 February 2019.
A no deal Brexit means that the UK would become a ‘third country’, outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and consequently outside the Single Market and Customs Union. The Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019 (Bill) has a broad remit but its main focus is on measures to address this change in the UK’s status.
Some of the main provisions of interest to businesses are:
- Part 3: Amendment to Industrial Development Act 1986 to 2014 to give Enterprise Ireland (EI) powers to provide additional support in the form of loans and/or investments to companies involved in research and development. It is intended that this will allow EI the flexibility to support enterprise development and to manage its investments on a par with private sector investors.
- Part 6: Taxation - Measures proposed to ensure that entities established in the UK continue to be included in certain tax reliefs, including:
- exemption from income tax on savings certificates or other similar securities issued by the UK government
- income tax abatement from if certain shares are held in trust for a period of more than 5 years
- the Key Employee Engagement Programme
- relief for investments in corporate trades
- transfers of assets under a scheme of reconstruction or amalgamation of companies
- tax credit for R&D expenditure
- Section 51: Introduces a new Section 53A of the VAT Consolidation Act, which provides for postponed accounting for VAT for all importers registered for VAT in Ireland. Such importers will not have to pay VAT at point of entry.
- Part 12: Amendments to the Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) Act 1984 to provide that employees who are employed or habitually employed in Ireland whose employers are made insolvent under the laws of the UK, will continue to be covered.
Ready for commencement
The Government has committed to working closely with all members of the Oireachtas to ensure the Bill will be passed and be ready for commencement by 29 March 2019.