ROBERT G SINCLAIR & CO. SOLICITORS are an established Belfast city centre practice with a vast expertise in areas such as litigation, banking, debt recovery and conveyancing.
Head of Litigation Matthew Fitzpatrick discusses Brexit and its impact on the people of Northern Ireland.
At Robert G Sinclair & Co., solicitors we deal with all types of queries ranging from banking to litigation to conveyancing. We intend to provide updates on a regular basis on Brexit and the implications of Brexit for the people of Northern Ireland and indeed all our clients.
We are now recognised as having one of the most specialised litigation departments in Northern Ireland and with that comes instructions that may not be considered “run of mill”.
Only a number of weeks ago we took instructions on a litigation matter and had a conference call with a client whose headquarters were in Pennsylvania.
We recognise that Northern Ireland is an extremely small part of Europe however in relation to Brexit negotiations it may just be the most significant part of Europe.
Anyone who thought that the Brexit negotiations were going to be straightforward or amicable will certainly need to think again.
Michael Barnier has recently stated that the British people will need to be educated about the consequences of leaving the single market and has also stated “I have a state of mind, not aggressive … but I am not naïve,” therefore at a time of extreme uncertainty it is essential that businesses within Northern Ireland are fully aware of the consequences of Brexit.
The Euro sceptic former Cabinet Minister John Redwood said Barniers “disobliging language” showed that the EU were simply not accepting the referendum result. “I think it is very sad that the EU does not appear to be listening to the British people since the Brexit vote.”
In theory if the UK leaves both the single market and the customs union, there will be no ability to move goods freely in and out of the UK to other EU countries. Therefore there will need to be border checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. These would be required in relation to the transfer of goods across the border. This will have a significant impact on businesses that trade in both the North of Ireland and the South, if your business has clients in the Republic of Ireland then there is a real possibility of this having a substantial impact on your ability to trade.
Ultimately it will be the EU that will have the final say on any special arrangements.
There have been proposals for possible exemptions for small to medium size businesses.
It is estimated that 70 – 80% of small to medium size businesses in Northern Ireland trade across the border.
Brexit has already played a part in the advice that we have been providing clients. We are delighted to recently have been appointed as sole preferred legal provider to retail NI and in that position we intend to provide advice to businesses on the ever changing landscape that they now face.
Our litigation department has recently provided guidance and assistance to businesses in relation to the liquidation of Gable Insurance.
Gable Insurance was an insurance company that went into liquidation which has real and substantial implications for numerous businesses within Northern Ireland. We would advise any business owners to check if in fact they were insured with Gable Insurance over the last six years and if so refer to the article that will soon be written on the Retail NI website by myself (Matthew Fitzpatrick).
We at Robert G Sinclair & Co., solicitors will continue to provide guidance and insight in relation to Brexit as it develops and if you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact: –