97% of Irish business leaders are against Brexit

The overwhelming majority of businesses on the island want Britain to remain in the EU...

IBEC, Brexit, Ireland, benefits, upside, currency, trade, EU, referendum, Danny McCoy

The British Union Jack flies alongside the Irish Tricolour in front of Government Buildings. Image: RollingNews.ie

A mere 3% of business leaders on the island of Ireland think it would be a good idea for the UK to leave the EU.
Respondents in the Republic to the new survey cited the "potential knock-on effect for the Irish economy" as the main reason why they're opposed to a Brexit.

The need for a strong, united EU in an evermore globalised market was also a factor.

The survey, conducted by Coyne Research on behalf of Chartered Accountants Ireland, quizzed 2,840 business leaders, comprising 70% from the Republic, 12% from Northern Ireland and a remainder from Britain and further afield.

Chartered Accountants Ireland members in Northern Ireland and Great Britain were also shown to be strongly in favour of a 'Remain' campaign win on June 23rd.

Four out of five accountants are against a Brexit, feeling that the UK would be better off remaining in the EU.
Euroscepticism and a desire for greater British control over economic migration were two factors in the minority backing a Brexit.

Speaking at a gathering of Professional Accountants in Europe in Barcelona, Liam Lynch, Deputy President of Chartered Accountants Ireland, said:

"Our research with Chartered Accountants Ireland members shows that a massive majority are in favour of the UK remaining in the European Union.

"Their opinion is important: we represent almost 4,000 Chartered Accountants in Northern Ireland with a further almost 2,000 based in Great Britain, with most of the remainder in the Republic of Ireland, and our Institute is proud of its status as both an Irish and UK representative body.

"Furthermore, 77% of our members hold senior positions at the centre of business, finance and industry.

"Therefore this study is a broad-based and reliable insight into what senior business leaders, not just in the UK, but also in Ireland and overseas, are thinking about the upcoming EU referendum.

"While there is no shortage of conflicting reports, projections and speculation on both sides of the debate, in my view the business community have little to go on but conjecture and opinion – in effect, it is impossible to forecast either the vote or its effect.

"The prevailing message from our members is one of uncertainty, and this seems likely to have an impact on business decisions at a micro and macro level across these islands in the run-up to the referendum.

"Whatever the outcome, it is vital that Chartered Accountants are primed to help the business sector deal with the fallout of the referendum and to maintain and build those vital international trade relationships".