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The Firm-Level Impact of Brexit On Most Exposed Sectors  

Findings and Insights  

In advance of, and subsequent to, the United Kingdom’s (UK) decision to leave the European Union (EU), research and analysis has been undertaken by the Irish Government and Deloitte Ireland to better understand and prepare for the implications of Brexit for Ireland.

An important element of that research involves investigating the impact of the UK being outside of the EU Single Market and the Customs Union at firm-level on our most exposed enterprise sectors. The Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation (DBEI) undertook this research to inform national enterprise policy, negotiation positions and strategy.

Over 160 regionally dispersed firms in fifteen sectors were asked to report their level of concern regarding the impact Brexit could have on their operations. The sectors were identified based on an analysis of their exposure to Brexit in terms of trading patterns. Potential impacts of Brexit were presented to firms in the form of a list of twenty assessment factors. These encompass a range of practical implications that negative changes to the existing freedom of movement of goods, services, capital and labour, and the ‘level playing field’ currently afforded by the EU Single Market and the Customs Union, could have. Based on a hard Brexit scenario, firms were asked to rate their level of concern for each factor on a scale from ‘Little Concern’ to ‘Moderate Concern’ to ‘Critical Concern’.

Firms were also asked to provide comments and context from the point of view of their organisation so as to give a richer picture of how they understood and evaluated the risks presented. While the research provides some quantitative analysis of the responses provided, it is important to note that these do not draw from a representative sample. Rather this serves to aggregate the views of the firms engaged and provide insights as to the patterns of concern observable.

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