Brexit Lecture Series

The Brexit Lecture Series explored the impact of Brexit on engineering, business and trade in Ireland and the UK. An excellent line-up from manufacturing, construction, education and consultancy addressed four webinars during March-May 2021. The recordings of these events are relevant not only to engineers and business leaders on both sides of the Irish Sea, but also to members with an interest in Brexit and the new trade reality.

The Brexit Lecture Series was a collaboration between the Donegal Region, GB Region, North East Region, North West Region and Northern Region as part of Engineers Ireland’s National Recovery Initiative.

The new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) and Inter Trade Ireland Brexit Supports

In the first of the series, hosted by the North East Region, Mary White, Head of NSAI's Brexit Unit, and Deirdre Maguire, Manager of Inter Trade Ireland’s Brexit Advisory Service, discussed the new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and its impact on standards and conformity and outlined the supports and advice available to business and individuals from Inter Trade Ireland.

Mary and Deirdre took attendees through some of the practical challenges the new agreement has made on business and the solutions that are now in place to deal with them. 

The Impact of Brexit and the Pandemic on Engineering in the North West

The purpose of this webinar by the North West Region was to explore the impact of Brexit and the pandemic on the North West. A panel of speakers provided perspectives on the impact of Brexit and the pandemic on the engineering industry, on how business is done with Europe, changes needed to engineering education, and the opportunities presented to the North West.

The MC for the event was Dr Brendan McCormack, President of IT Sligo. The panel featured: Maurice Buckley (Chairman of the OPW and President of Engineers Ireland), Dr Chris O’Malley (Vice President of Research, Innovation and Engagement at IT Sligo) and Brendan Dolan (Isopod, Sligo).

Some of the issues covered included: delays in deliveries of materials; the increasing need for more international languages in Irish companies; the need to have alternative sources for some specific construction materials (e.g. bathroom fittings, steel, etc.); the impact on notified bodies; diverging GDPR regulations if companies have a presence in UK and EU; the unique business opportunities for Northern Ireland due to NI Protocol; the need to understand the difference in cultures between UK and different EU countries when changing suppliers or markets; warranties on products and equipment; opportunities for companies in Ireland to collaborate more; and opportunities for R&D labs in the north west. 

The impact of Brexit on Cross Border Procurement and Supply Chain

This event, hosted by the Northern Region, explored the impact of Brexit on cross-border procurement and supply chains. Speakers included Stephen Kelly, CEO of Manufacturing NI, Frank Given of Close Focus (Consultancy), and David Fry from the Construction Employers Federation. The panel discussion was chaired by Denise McMahon, the current chair of Northern Ireland Construction Group.

Post-Brexit construction in Ireland and the UK

Hosted by the GB Region, this webinar examined the legal ramifications of Brexit on: labour and resourcing, goods and materials, standards and regulations, and opportunities and risks. The event focused on construction companies that operate in the GB Region, however, the principles can be applied across all disciplines.

The panel of speakers included leading construction lawyers, from each of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland the United Kingdom: Dominic Jones, Partner, Blake Morgan LLP, Lisa Boyd, Director & Head of Procurement Law, Cleaver Fulton Rankin, and Seanna Mulrean, Consultant, LK Shields Solicitors LLP.