Just 6% of Irish cross-border traders prepared for financial impact of No-Deal Brexit, report suggests

Old Belfast Road in Carrickcarnon on the northern side of the Irish border, between Newry and Dundal

Old Belfast Road in Carrickcarnon on the northern side of the Irish border, between Newry and Dundalk. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

As few as 6% of cross-border traders in Ireland and Northern Ireland are prepared for the consequences of a no-deal Brexit, a new report has found.

There are about 20,000 cross-border traders on the island of Ireland, and the trade body InterTradeIreland said that most are seemingly choosing to disregard the potential impact No Deal could bring.

Just 6% of cross-border traders are prepared for cash flow and liquidity issues in the event of a no-deal Brexit, with just 12% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) investigating the possible impact of extra taxes on their business.

Aidan Gough, InterTradeIreland's designated officer and director of strategy and policy, said: "Ignoring Brexit is a bigger issue than not preparing for it.

"Failing to take into account how it may impact your business could be very detrimental down the line."

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Gough said that InterTradeIreland has launched a new campaign to encourage cross-border traders to plan for Brexit, adding that the research underlines the need for companies to start acting now.

InterTradeIreland highlighted its online Bitesize Brexit, a tool for cross-border traders which details specific actions that businesses can take to prepare for Brexit.

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In a statement from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, a spokeswoman said it has been working with companies for more than two years to raise awareness of the key Brexit challenges.

The statement said: "The department's ongoing engagement and research indicates that the proportion of businesses preparing for Brexit is increasing, particularly among those businesses identified as most exposed to Brexit-related impacts, and that awareness of the key Brexit challenges is also increasing.

"Almost 60% of Irish SMEs report a good understanding of the likely implications of Brexit impacts that are relevant to their business."

The department said that a survey carried out in February this year suggested that planning for Brexit is increasing, with almost half of SMEs saying they have taken "some form of engagement" to prepare for Brexit.

"Among the most impacted businesses, progress is also being made, for example more than half of exporters indicate that they have a Brexit plan," the statement added.

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