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86% of business leaders now think no deal Brexit likely

A new survey of business leaders in Ireland has found that 51% now believe a no deal Brexit is "very likely", with a further 35% seeing it as "somewhat likely".

But the survey from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants also showed that 70% of businesses are not planning for redundancies in the short term despite Brexit uncertainty and the ongoing pandemic.

The survey was conducted at a ACCA 'Business Leaders Forum' event which focused on issues including Brexit, the potential impact of Covid and the future of work. 

It revealed that while 47% of businesses have less than half of their workforce currently working from home, 81% said they have the digital expertise to support home working on a long term basis.

Carol Lynch, Chair of the ACCA Business Leaders Forum, said that with the final stage of the Brexit talks underway in advance of the October 15 deadline, there is growing concern amongst business leaders on the potential of a no deal scenario.

Almost 90% of business leaders polled seeing this as being either very, or somewhat likely. 

"This is of course heightened by the implications of the pandemic, as businesses seek to recover and rebuild their operations," Ms Lynch said. 

She said the strong sentiment evident in the survey was that while business leaders are very aware of the challenges ahead, many have resilient workplace practices in place that support their long term sustainability and profitability.

"That resilience is underlined by 70% of respondents who have no plans for redundancies in the short to medium term highlighting the ability of the economy to maintain high levels of employment with an improving economy in 2021," she added.

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