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Northern Ireland

80% of Companies at Brexit Seminar May Expand EU Operations

24 Jul 2017
IoD Northern Ireland and Brexit

More than 80% of firms represented at our local IoD workshop have considered setting up or expanding operations in the European Union to overcome concerns around Brexit.

On 18 May 2017, IoD Northern Ireland in partnership with Catalyst Inc and Bank of Ireland held a workshop to discuss and share the practical ways in which Northern Ireland companies are preparing for the impact of Brexit.

A survey of delegates prior to the workshop indicated that:

  • 40% were not at all prepared for Brexit
  • 20% had started scenario planning
  • Only 33% were having Brexit related discussions with customers and suppliers
  • None had carried out an audit of their workforce
  • Trade and Export was rated as the highest concern post-Brexit for respondent
  • 80% of respondents had considered dual location to overcome some of the concerns about trading with the EU

The workshop heard from speakers regarding skills and employment, import and export trading and foreign exchange.  Speakers included - IoD EU expert Allie Renison; IoD Employment & Skills expert Seamus Nevin; Aidan Gough, InterTradeIreland; Professor Lee McGowan, Queen’s University, Belfast, and Bank of Ireland UK economist and market analyst Alan Bridle.

Delegates also heard from local business people who shared practical examples of how their company has started getting prepared to deal with whatever Brexit might throw at them.

Among key concerns voiced by delegates were fears of a shortage of skills due to the potential departure of EU-born workers following Brexit.  On trade, the possible introduction of a tariff was cited as a worry, especially for smaller firms which would find any additional costs difficult to absorb. Last but not least, the impact of managing currency risk was also considered a concern. Read the full report of findings which summarises all presentations and discussion findings.

View the full report

10 'top tips' for preparing for Brexit

The IoD has examined what directors should be thinking about next and how the IoD can help with Brexit and produced helpful tips.  Tips include reviewing business plans, cashflow and alternative finance, recruitment and employment law, responsibilities and liabilities of directors, alternative markets, developing the company board and staff,  directors‘ leadership skills and support network, your own career plan, and making your voice heard in the debate.  View our top tips factsheet here.

For more information, please contact the IoD NI Office on: 

028 9694 6740


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