Businesses becoming less optimistic on Brexit

Nearly two-thirds expecting negative impact from Britain leaving the EU

Demonstrators block a road in London during a protest against the proroguing of the UK parliament. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

Demonstrators block a road in London during a protest against the proroguing of the UK parliament. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

 

Irish businesses have become increasingly less optimistic on the outcome of Brexit with nearly two-thirds anticipating a negative impact, according to research from professional services firm BDO.

Research found that overall optimism amongst Irish businesses is down 11 per cent compared to the same period last year, falling to levels not seen since 2014.

“Although we are still unsure about the full impact Brexit will have, one certainty is that once Britain leaves the EU there will be a requirement for exporters and importers to make declarations and pay customs duties,” said BDO partner Carol Lynch.

The outlook for the coming quarter has worsened with a quarter of business across the island of Ireland expecting lower activity compared to the same period in 2018. And those concerns aren’t confined to exporters with 25 per cent of indigenous businesses forecasting a hit in the coming four months.

BDO suggests that those businesses exposed to the UK take immediate action to ensure they’re well prepared. Setting up a customs registration number and checking tariff classifications are two such measures.

Elsewhere, about a third of businesses are charging higher prices than in the same quarter last year while employment levels have remained steady with 75 per cent of businesses maintaining the same staff numbers as this time last year.