– New figures reveal 19 out of 20 businesses don’t have a Brexit plan –
Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth has called on the Government to co-ordinate with businesses to ensure that they are given the necessary supports to cope with the impact of Brexit. She was responding to an InterTradeIreland report, which revealed that 19 out of 20 businesses don’t have a plan to deal with Brexit.
The figures were based on interviews conducted with more than 750 SMEs across both Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Deputy Smyth said, “While these figures are stark, they are not overly surprising. I have been speaking to business owners here in Cavan and Monaghan and many of them feel unable to plan for what’s coming down the road. The Brexit situation remains completely up in the air, with businesses saying they have no real idea what the post-Brexit business world will look like.
“Companies along the border are feeling the effects of currency fluctuations, but the lack of certainty around the customs union and border issues is leaving them unable to put any tangible plans in motion. We need the Government to take control of the situation and to establish a national programme of enterprise supports.
“Supports must be rolled out for product diversification, currency hedging and accessing new markets. The loan schemes announced so far are welcome, but these must be matched with grants. The IDA and Enterprise Ireland are engaging with their clients, but who is speaking to small Irish exporters? Tens of thousands of companies are at risk, and hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“It is now almost a year and a half since the Brexit vote, and small businesses on both sides of the border are no further down the road to planning for the post-Brexit scenario. Fianna Fáil has been consistently calling on the Government to publish its sectoral response plans to Brexit, but to date no such strategies have been forthcoming. This approach is limiting businesses’ ability to plan for their future.
“The Government cannot continue to sit on the fence on this issue – it is the biggest challenge facing this country in decades. A sit back and wait approach is not acceptable. If Ireland is to move beyond risk mitigation, and seize the opportunities of Brexit, Irish SME’s must have the supports to allow them to plan now rather than later”.