French connection may pay off for Irish firms post-Brexit
Companies anticipate growth in business with France after Britain leaves EU
Brexit may be a concern for Irish companies with close business links with the UK, but almost 60 per cent of groups with trading links to France believe it will result in a significant upturn in their business, according to a new study.
The survey commissioned by the France Ireland Chamber of Commerce also found that just 12 per cent of companies felt Brexit was an explicit threat to their business, with 37 per cent unconcerned about it and almost a quarter viewing it as an opportunity.
Some 39 per cent were worried about the impending exit from the EU, but the majority said it would not impact staffing levels in Ireland, and 85 per cent said they did not anticipate having to relocate staff as a result of Brexit. Only 3 per cent said they would have to cuts jobs here, while 8 per cent said they may have to in the future.
A key issue for Irish companies is how Britain will deal with tax rates once it leaves the European Union, with about two-thirds of respondents concerned that the UK would lower its rates to attract foreign direct investment. The introduction of a hard border was a concern for almost 65 per cent of respondents, while about 60 per cent said Brexit would have a negative impact on their suppliers.
The research surveyed 117 business leaders.
“The level of optimism amongst respondents - almost 60 per cent - who consider that Brexit will produce significant benefits for Irish-based companies trading in France is very encouraging,” said Noel Cunningham of accountants Mazars and chairman of the chamber’s working group on Brexit. “Almost 40 per cent of respondents, though, are worried that Brexit will have an overall negative effect on their business and this is symptomatic of concerns surrounding a hard Brexit.”