Member Since: 20th Jan 2000
26th Mar 2019
Yes, my thoughts exactly.
19th Mar 2019
From reading your blogs, I get the impression that most weeks you are often having a difficult time. Sorry if that’s wrong, but that’s just how I read them.
Would you really want to carry on like that into your mid-70s or even 80s?
I had a friend who gradually retired from the profession. Over a few years, he sold his main fee block, as that was the most stressful part of his life, retaining a handful of relatively lucrative, but stress-free clients. In the end, he probably only worked a day per week, before finally his motivation even for that went.
13th Mar 2019
Philip Fisher wrote:
A reader questioned the assertion in an earlier article that employees living on one side of the Irish border and working on the other would be affected even by a no deal Brexit. Judging by subsequent news coverage and comments from Irish government representatives, this is a likely outcome, if only because there could be long queues to get across borders. Should negotiations between the British and their former European partners get particularly unpleasant, then the borders could get really “hard” making the problem far more extreme.
Yes, I did question the assertion and still do.
I have read or heard nothing that suggests that *people* will have difficulty getting across the border. There is no infrastructure currently in place to *stop* the movement of people … or indeed anything else.
If the Irish Government are going to enforce single market rules and customs checks then it would take many months to build the necessary depots / inspection posts *away* from the border – you can’t just do all this stuff beside the road.
Even the EU itself has admitted that a technological solution may have to be found in the event of a no-deal Brexit. It is also possible that the EU would make additional single market checks at ports for shipping arriving from the Republic of Ireland (to the annoyance of the Irish).
On the other point of lack of recognition of EU auditor qualifications in the UK – I don’t see that as a particular problem. Even though I live in London, I have never met any audit partners whose right to continue signing off audits arises solely from their EU auditor qualification. I dare say there are some, but probably not too many.
I feel a far bigger problem for the UK audit market over the past 20 years is that many registered auditors (admittedly mostly smaller auditors) with a UK audit qualification have been choosing to give up their audit qualification, because it is just too much hassle. But the auditing world has managed to carry on – probably because there aren’t so many audits to go around.
12th Feb 2019
The volume of cross-border trade on the island of Ireland is actually quite small - around €2 billion per year, so it is possibly a couple of orders of magnitude lower than that which passes between Switzerland and the EU.
Much of that trade is food / agriculture, so it would be crazy for the UK to try to initially apply tariffs on any food, from wherever it comes from in the world, as that would just raise the cost of living for the poorest in society.
Much of the cross-border trade also comes across 3 major crossing points via around 50 large traders, which would have no interest in evading tariffs. Over time, a system could be developed to deal with them.
Due to the Common Travel Area, there would be no system for monitoring people crossing the border. If, say, a Romanian makes it to Dublin, there would be nothing stopping that person going to Belfast and then getting the ferry to Scotland. However, that person may find difficulty legally working in the UK or accessing benefits.
You are correct, there is no possibility of building a "hard" border by 29 March 2019 (or the more likely leaving date of 30 June 2019).
12th Feb 2019
I don't see why the Common Travel Area would not survive Brexit - all parties UK, RoI and EU want it to continue. It existed long before the UK and RoI joined the EEC and survived in spite of the 1968-1998 "Troubles".
For political reasons "checkpoints" will never, ever, ever be put right on the border. There is no need to check people, since there is the Common Travel Area. If there ever is any need to check goods for regulatory and / or tariff reasons then it will be done well away from the sensitive border area. This is what is already done for duty on alcohol and tobacco.
I think a lot of myths will be dashed if there is ever a clean Brexit ... but inevitably there will be quite a few challenges to be resolved - quite possibly in areas nobody really thought about.
8th Feb 2019
Philip Fisher wrote:
"While it may be completely irrelevant for the majority of practices, those with offices in Ireland could be faced with catastrophic consequences if a hard border is imposed at 11pm on 29 March.
Staff may literally be unable to get to work on 30 March and it may be impossible to visit clients a short drive away"
Sorry Philip, this seems like scaremongering to me.
A "hard border" in the context of the Northern Ireland / Republic of Ireland border following Brexit does not mean people from both sides of the border are impeded from travelling between the two - that right is guaranteed from the Common Travel Area agreement of 1923.
Instead, the "hard border" in the context of Brexit simply relates to the potential for different customs tariffs and (in time) regulatory standards.
Both the UK and Republic of Ireland have stated that they do not want a "hard border" and on 30 March 2019 there will simply be no mechanisms in place to do anything different than is done now.
It may be that some technological solution evolves over time to assess and collect tariffs away from the border, but that will certainly take some time to put in place.
8th Feb 2019
When I first heard about this a few years ago, it seemed strange, as I couldn't see how an entity with a huge cost base like KPMG could make it work.
I expect most of the grunt-work would have been done by trainees and I shudder to think what their chargeout rates would have been.
1st Dec 2018
I assume you ignore medical experts when getting an illness diagnosed or choosing a recommended path of treatment and that when you buy a house you get an engineer in.
I feel your analogy is not a particularly good one. Brexit (or anything like it) has never happened before - Greenland leaving the EEC in 1985 is not comparable. Consequently there are no real "experts" on what will happen (good or bad) after Brexit. At best, a few short-term educated guesses can be made.
As for trying to forecast 15 years ahead, when there will have been at least 4 governments, is quite frankly laughable.
On the other hand, doctors and engineers have the benefit of a whole history of knowledge in their fields to draw upon and to allow them to make informed assessments.
28th Nov 2018
I can't see TM's deal getting through.
More likely it will be something like a Single Market + Customs Union deal (Norway +), possibly with some limited restrictions on freedom of movement.
That way, you will get a significant number of Labour MPs and possibly even the SNP voting for it. The DUP probably wouldn't oppose it either, as the Single Market + Customs Union is consistent across the whole of the UK.
28th Nov 2018
Wow, I didn't see that coming! Welcome to the dark side Red!
I was probably never going to be happy with the deal, as it would have too many compromises for me.
I doubt we will ever find out whether your Brexiteer friend is right about TM's deal, as I can't see any way it will get through Parliament.