News article

Brexit: Guidance for UK businesses providing services in the Republic of Ireland

19 March 2019


Rules and regulations on service provision if the UK leaves the EU without a deal

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, there will be legal, regulatory and administrative implications for UK firms and service providers trading with the Republic of Ireland.

You will need to comply with both local and EU/EEA-wide rules in the area of cross-border trades.

Businesses and professionals should take steps to understand the regulation in these areas for each member state that they are operating in.

Common Travel Area

The UK and Irish governments are committed to maintaining the Common Travel Area (CTA) and protecting the associated reciprocal rights in all scenarios. As such, the arrangements described below are without prejudice to the rights available to individuals under the CTA.

Find out more about rights under the CTA.

The government of Ireland has published details of its preparation work if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, this includes information on the CTA.

Regulation of cross border trade in services

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the EU and UK will trade on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms. The default position, in this case, is that UK service providers will be required to comply with the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) rules.

Businesses and professionals should check local requirements, including nationality requirements, and obtain any necessary authorisations or licenses to continue to operate in Ireland. Information on these requirements and how to complete relevant administrative procedures online can be found on the Irish e-Government portal.

The Law Society of Ireland has published information for UK legal professionals.

There are also non-governmental organisations which can provide advice to UK businesses operating, or seeking to operate, in Ireland such as the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce.

Further considerations

UK service providers and businesses exporting their services should be aware that they will also need to comply with local rules in the following areas:

Read more about providing services to the Republic of Ireland after EU exit.