Brexit: One in 10 Northern firms has set up outside NI

Survey finds many firms considering changing trading partners

Northern companies have reported weak sales and order books. Photograph: Bloomberg

Northern companies have reported weak sales and order books. Photograph: Bloomberg

 

One out of every 10 firms in the North has set up new operations outside Northern Ireland because of Brexit, with more companies likely to follow suit, according to new research.

One in every four companies in the North has also changed how they do business following the UK vote to leave the EU, with many firms considering changing trading partners, suppliers and target markets. 

The new economic survey, published on Wednesday by the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry and advisors BDO, shows businesses in the North are growing increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress on key Brexit issues and the absence of a local Executive.

The survey shows that the key concerns for businesses revolve around the Border and how Brexit will affect trade, tariffs and the free movement of labour.

Poor start

The chamber said it has been a poor start to the year in general - companies have reported weak domestic sales and order books while manufacturers have also warned of a slowdown in export sales.

Many firms, around one in every five, said they have already suffered a drop in turnover because of Brexit and almost half of businesses in the North have seen costs rise,