Brexit a top threat for businesses, say Irish CEOs

7 Jun 2016

93pc of Irish CEOs fear Brexit fallout

The possible exit of the UK from the European Union is the top threat for businesses, according to 93pc of Irish CEOs surveyed on the matter.

Fears of a potential Brexit are creating uncertainties, according to the 2016 Irish CEO Pulse Survey by PwC.

According to the survey, three-quarters (75pc) of Irish business leaders are concerned about the effect of exchange rate volatility on business growth.

A similar proportion (73pc) said that they are concerned about uncertain or slow growth in key markets with which they trade.

Nearly two-thirds (65pc) of survey respondents said that the UK is their most important market for export growth in the next three years.

Fail to plan, plan to fail

Irish CEOs are struggling to plan for a possible Brexit, according to the survey. Just one in 10 has completed scenario planning and 55pc have either not started or have not decided if they will undertake scenario planning.

“Our view is that Brexit, whatever form it may take, will have a significant impact on Irish businesses that are currently trading with the UK and could have a negative effect on future trade and investment decisions and job creation here,” said PwC’s managing partner in Ireland, Feargal O’Rourke.

“We believe that our economic future is best secured through continued shared membership of the European Union.

“Therefore, while it is entirely a matter for the people of the UK to determine their future relationship with the European Union, our preference is for the UK to remain in the European Union.

“We hope that our view will be considered by the 120,000 UK citizens living in Ireland who are entitled to vote in the referendum, and by the 828,000 residents of the UK who identified themselves as ‘Irish only’ in the 2011 UK census,” O’Rourke said.

London image by Pedro Szekely on Flickr (Creative Commons)

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years