Almost half of Irish businesses without a plan for ‘No Deal’ Brexit scenario

Mar 11, 2019

70% say deal won’t be reached by March 29th - New Brexit Sentiment Survey from Chartered Accountants Ireland

 Monday, 11th March 2019

 A new survey from Chartered Accountants Ireland published today shows that almost half of business leaders in the Republic of Ireland have little or no plans in place for a no deal Brexit.

Despite 60% of Chartered Accountants in the Republic of Ireland saying that Brexit will have a negative impact, only 17% of those respondents said their businesses are fully ready to meet the challenges that Brexit might bring.  Reflecting the current uncertainty, almost half of businesses surveyed have made little or no plans to prepare for Brexit.

Among the key findings from a new Brexit Sentiment Survey of Chartered Accountants across all sectors in the Republic of Ireland were: -

  • 69% said that the UK and EU were unlikely to reach a deal by 29 March 2019
  • 44% had little or no plans for a no deal Brexit, 39% had some plans
  • 60% said that Brexit would have a negative impact on their business, 12% said Brexit would have a positive effect
  • 60% said the local business voice was not being heard in the Brexit negotiations
  • Supply chain disruption was the biggest concern, followed by customs administration and then customs duties

The survey was also carried out among members of Chartered Accountants Ireland in Northern Ireland and the results are almost identical.

Speaking about the study, Brian Keegan, Director of Public Policy and Taxation at Chartered Accountants Ireland, said:

“These findings reaffirm that some level of certainty is urgently needed among the business community both north and south of the border.  Without assurances of the future trading landscape, businesses are finding it difficult to put concrete plans in place to prepare for Brexit and many have adopted a wait and see approach.”

According to the survey, Chartered Accountants rated supply chain disruption as their biggest concern followed by customs administration and thirdly customs duties.

“The businesses we have engaged with and spoken to over the last two years have largely been more concerned about supply chain disruption and customs paperwork than the costs of any potential customs duties.  Many dealing with consumer foodstuffs with a short shelf life, for example, are unclear about how customs checks will take place and say that any delays in clearing customs could be detrimental to their businesses.” said Mr Keegan.

The survey also showed that almost 70% of Chartered Accountants in the Republic of Ireland do not believe a Brexit agreement will be reached by 29 March.

“It is hard to believe that with less than three weeks to go until 29 March, the UK and EU are still without an agreement. No agreement will result in a hard border on the island of Ireland and this will mean potentially hazardous trading conditions for businesses both north and south of the border. Chartered Accountants Ireland has been urging businesses to examine their supply chains, look at their cash flow and update their knowledge on customs in order to be ready to cope with the prospect of a no deal Brexit.”

- ENDS –

Notes to editors

1,320 Chartered Accountants responded to the survey which was carried out on 26 February 2019. 821 respondents were based in the Republic of Ireland.  

About Chartered Accountants Ireland

Chartered Accountants Ireland is Ireland’s largest and longest established professional body of accountants founded in 1888.  The Institute, which is an all-island body, currently represents over 27,000 members around the world.  The Chartered Accountants Ireland Brexit Action Group coordinates extensive lobbying and public information activities to help its members North and South of the border prepare for the departure of the UK from the EU.