Business group says any Brexit could see "an upside" for Ireland

IBEC says Ireland has a valid voice in the debate

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 on the day of Queen Elizabeth II's visit in 2011 | Image: RollingNews.ie

The business group IBEC has says "there could be an upside" for Ireland of any potential exit by Britain from the European Union.

The group has published its latest Quarterly Economic Outlook, which predicts economic growth of 4.6% this year and 3.9% in 2017.

But it has cautioned that the threat of the UK leaving the EU means the business environment will be "less benign and increasingly uncertain" over the coming months.

"At a time of heightened external risks, we need to do all within our control to ensure the Irish recovery remains on course. This requires a relentless focus on competitiveness to ensure we can compete effectively with competitor economies", it adds.

IBEC CEO Danny McCoy says he is concerned that the Brexit polls "suggest a tight vote".

"As the referendum approaches, it is increasingly important that we have a stable domestic political backdrop to ensure Ireland is in a strong position to effectivity manage every eventuality".

"There is no room for economic complacency, we need to focus on staying flexible and competitive".

But Mr McCoy told Newstalk Breakfast Ireland could also see some positives.