A new survey from Chartered Accountants Ireland published this week shows that almost half of business leaders in the Republic of Ireland have little or no plans in place for a no deal Brexit. Approximately 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.
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.
The businesses that Chartered Accountants Ireland 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.
Speaking about the study, Director of Public Policy and Taxation at Chartered Accountants Ireland, Brian Keegan 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."
He added, "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."