Survey finds Brexit is the biggest worry for Irish firms, but not for Europe

Brexit is the biggest worry for Irish companies for next year, a survey has revealed.

While business figures across the Republic of Ireland are mostly concerned about the impact of the UK's split from Europe, fewer than one in 10 European firms give it the same priority.

The survey of tens of thousands of companies across 23 countries found Irish companies are feeling significantly more exposed to Brexit than those on the continent.

Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland chief executive, said the divorce from the European Union is a peripheral issue for business people outside Ireland and the UK.

"While it is not surprising that Brexit is a priority for Irish business given our proximity to the UK and the importance of our trading relationship, it is alarming that businesses across Europe are not more concerned by the potential impact of the loss of the EU's second biggest market," he said.

Mr Talbot, who is deputy president of Eurochambres which carries out the economic survey, said European business people are more concerned with security for their citizens, job creation and the economic security of the Eurozone.

The Chambers' chief executive said Irish businesses have role to play in helping counterparts across Europe understand that there will be reduced economic growth, investment and jobs unless there is a practical approach to Brexit negotiations.

The survey found the priority issues for businesses across Europe are domestic demand followed by a lack of skilled workers and labour costs.

Eurochambres said most countries ranked Brexit as the least important challenge for next year and it said the lack of concern may be explained as the split is not due to kick in until 2019.


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