News & Events

“New era” as Ireland will need to be “mindful” of our future relationships with the UK and the EU

31 Jan 2020

Business leaders believe Brexit’s “short-term impact on the Irish economy will be negative and that will require close monitoring” says IoD CEO

The CEO of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland believes Ireland’s politicians and business leaders alike will need to be “mindful” of our future relationships with the UK and the EU during the upcoming trade negotiations following so-called Brexit Day today, 31st January 2020.

As Ireland’s leading membership body for over 3,000 directors and business leaders, IoD Ireland has conducted quarterly surveys over the past year tracking business sentiment towards Brexit and other key issues of concern to its members.

Marking Brexit Day, Maura Quinn, CEO, IoD Ireland, commented: 

It’s a historic moment not just for the UK-EU relationship but for Ireland’s relationships with both. The past is done, and we are entering a new era where Ireland will no longer have our closest neighbour as a potential ally on some key issues within the EU. IoD members have told us that they believe Ireland’s relationship with the EU will be enhanced post-Brexit. However, they are concerned about our relationship with the UK and they believe that needs to be addressed by the next government, however that is constituted.

Maura Quinn, added:

Brexit Day will bring some level of certainty for business leaders - which they seek in order to assist in business decision-making and strategic planning - but the process is far from finished. A majority of IoD members believes the short-term impact on the Irish economy will be negative and that will require close monitoring. However, the clock is now ticking once again with 11 months remaining in the transition period to agree a new trade deal. Ireland must play a key role in the EU’s negotiations with the UK whilst also being mindful of our own future relationships with both parties. 

IoD Ireland has conducted quarterly surveys throughout the past year and published results in its Director Sentiment Monitor reports. 

Key findings from our most recent Director Sentiment Monitor, for Q4 2019, published 28th January 2020, can be found below:

  • 89% of business leaders think Ireland needs to actively address improving relations with the UK in a post-Brexit scenario. 
  • 39% of IoD Ireland members believe Ireland's status in the EU post-Brexit will be enhanced rather than diminished (20%). 25% believe it is difficult to judge how the UK’s departure will impact Ireland’s status in the EU.
  • 88% of business leaders believe that Brexit’s impact on the Irish economy will be negative in the short-term but this falls to 47% when they are asked about the long-term. Just 6% believe that Brexit’s impact on the Irish economy will be positive in the short-term, which rises to 29% when applied to the long-term.
  • 66% of IoD members say that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit has impacted their strategic planning.  

In terms of potential market growth, there has been a 10% increase since Q3 2019 in the number of business leaders in Q4 2019 that see Ireland as a market with opportunities for growth in 2020 (71%). Interestingly, at the same time, there has been a 10% increase since Q3 2019 in number of business leaders in Q4 2019 that see the UK as having opportunities for growth in 2020 (30%).

In Q4 2019, 30% of IoD members were more optimistic than they were in Q3 2019 (when the figure was just 9%) but were still slightly less optimistic than the same period in Q4 2018 (32%).

View the Director Sentiment Monitor Q4 2019.