Brexit - Construction
Critical issues for businesses to consider:
Costs and Delays: Contracts should be reviewed to consider where the risk of Brexit lies in terms of increased costs and delay. Parties should consider whether any mitigation measures can be taken and how they might work together if issues arise. How the term “Brexit” is defined in contracts will be crucial and whether this incorporates provisions around a no deal scenario.
Supply Chain: It would be important to consider the supply chain to ascertain where it is UK dependent and how it might be affected by Brexit in terms of delay, disruption and/or increased costs. Consideration might be given to alternate supply chains and sources.
Construction Product Regulations and CE marking: If UK products no longer comply with EU product regulations, then it might mean that they cannot be implemented in Irish projects without further agreement. This is important to consider in terms of certification.
Alternative Dispute Resolution: Whilst arbitration is prevalent in the industry, there has been a move in recent years to have disputes resolved in the Commercial Court. The enforcement of judgements in the UK will be more difficult following Brexit as the UK courts will not form part of the EU recognition and enforcement regime. Arbitration will likely come to the fore again as arbitral decisions can be enforced by virtue of the New York Convention. The UK is a signatory to the convention in its own right.
Parties also need to review their dispute resolution provisions to ensure that they do not engage UK law or provide for disputes to be resolved in the UK.
Recognition of Qualifications: The regime for recognition of qualifications is based on EU law. There is currently a shortage of qualified staff in the industry so, if British qualifications are not recognised, this could exacerbate the situation. Professional organisations are taking steps to avoid this scenario e.g. Engineers Ireland.