More than 80 per cent of accountants believe that a withdrawal by Britain from the European Union would have a negative impact on Ireland, according to the latest member survey undertaken by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA Ireland ).
Such a move was deemed to be universally negative, with 74 per cent of respondents stating it would be negative for Britain itself and 81 per cent believing it would have a negative impact on the European Union as a whole.
The survey also indicates a lack of preparedness by Irish businesses for a possible Brexit decision on June 23. Although 41 per cent of respondents believe their organisation would be negatively affected by such an outcome, only 17 per cent stated that the impacts have been considered by their organisation.
Speaking about the results of the survey, Eamonn Siggins, chief executive of CPA Ireland, said: “The consequence of a Brexit decision by the British public this summer would lead to many years of uncertainty, as their government would engage in protracted negotiations on their new model of engagement with the EU. Uncertainty is bad for business, but complacency is worse. It is important that businesses act now to identify the risk factors specific to their business and to put in place robust contingency plans to mitigate those risks where possible.”
In the event of a Brexit, the risks identified as most concerning to survey respondents include: cross border trade (62 per cent ); tariffs/barriers on trade between Ireland and the UK (50 per cent ); the stability of the EU (43 per cent ); protracted uncertainty for investment and trade (35 per cent ); barriers to free movement of people (34 per cent ).
Despite the potential for instability and uncertainty in the wake of a Brexit, only 24 per cent of respondents felt that Ireland should consider its position within the European Union.
CPA Ireland collaborated with the British Irish Chamber of Commerce on the survey. The Institute and the Chamber have established a partnership this year to deliver information and promote engagement on the issue among the 60,000 SMEs across Ireland serviced by the CPA Institute’s members.