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Irish jobs and businesses 'already at risk over Brexit'

“This is now a full blown currency crisis.”
Aug 2nd 2016, 6:05 AM 13,432 30

THE CURRENCY DIP suffered by Sterling after the Brexit vote is putting Irish jobs at risk, employers’ group Ibec says.

The group today demanded a decisive and immediate national response to the crash, which it says has left many key export businesses reeling.

Sterling has slumped since the 23 June vote, though it has held a consistent level over the last week.

An Ibec survey found that the negative exchange implications of the UK vote is by far the biggest concern of business. Almost half (45%) saw this as the main threat. Exporters are operating with a major competitive handicap in the UK market, while domestic firms are facing the prospect of cheaper UK imports grabbing market share. Further survey details below.

In a stark assessment, Ibec Director of Policy Fergal O’Brien said “The Brexit strain is manifest and intense. Without urgent action to address competitive pressures, hundreds of millions of euro worth of exports and thousands of Irish jobs will be lost.

Individual businesses have been slow to talk publicly, but the feedback from members is clear and unambiguous. Businesses and jobs are already under threat.

“This is now a full blown currency crisis.”

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Separate economic analysis from Ibec also found that the impact on UK focused export sectors, such as agri-food, will be particularly severe. The analysis of the historical exchange rate and agri-food export relationship shows that a 1% weakness in sterling results in a 0.7% drop in Irish exports to the UK.

If sterling was to weaken further towards the £0.90 mark, this would translate to losses of over €700 million in food exports and about 7,500 Irish jobs in that sector alone.

Read: The vast majority of Irish exporters say Brexit will have a negative impact on their business

Read: Man facing sexual assault charges says he can’t be extradited because of the UK Brexit vote

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Paul Hosford

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