Brexit: Businesses most concerned about costs and supply chain disruption

10 June, 2020

Three-quarters of Irish business leaders believe it will not be possible for the UK and the EU to agree a Comprehensive Trade Agreement on Brexit by the end of the year.

One-third (33%) of Irish business leaders believe that it will not be possible to agree a Free Trade Agreement on Brexit by the end of the transition period of 31 December 2020; a further 42% believe only a partial deal will be possible. This is according to a PwC poll carried out at their client webcast this week which today's focused on Brexit and heard views on the latest in the negotiations from Minister for European Affairs Helen McEntee TD; UK Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett and Hugh McGuire CEO of Glanbia Performance Nutrition.

A close-up photograph of the side of the top of the red-coloured Poolbeg lighthouse in Dublin.

Two-thirds (66%) reported to be 'somewhat' prepared or 'not prepared at all' for a no-deal Brexit. The biggest concerns if a deal cannot be agreed are cost increases (64%), supply chain disruption (56%) and more job losses (36%).

David McGee, PwC Ireland Brexit Leader, said: "Businesses have had to cope with unprecedented challenges since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which no-one could have anticipated or controlled. And we saw many businesses put their Brexit plans into action to manage COVID-19. It is paramount now that further changes and uncertainties for businesses are minimised. Clarity is needed more than ever. But according to our survey a full comprehensive trade deal is considered unlikely. We urge all businesses to step up their brexit plans, including dealing with the new UK Global Tariff, so that they can be as prepared as possible for a no deal or a limited deal on 1 January 2021."

"While businesses across all sectors are already facing disruption, the ticking clock of Brexit requires that plans and contingency options are reconsidered now as a matter of urgency."

If you are interested in a spokesperson to discuss this poll, please contact Johanna Dehaene.

About this poll

The Poll was carried out on the morning of Wednesday 10 June at the PwC Brexit webcast attended by just over 640 people, with 390 people participating in the poll.

What do you believe will be the eventual outcome of Brexit?

  • A no-deal Brexit on 31 December 2020: 33%
  • A partial deal is agreed on 31 December: 42%
  • UK Government requests an extension to the transition agreement: 25%

How prepared is your business for a possible no-deal Brexit in December 2020?

  • Very prepared: 34%
  • Somewhat prepared: 62%
  • Not prepared at all: 4%


What is your biggest concern if a deal cannot be agreed? (multiple answers possible)

  • Significant revenue fall: 26%
  • Job losses: 36%
  • Cost increases including tariffs: 64%
  • Supply chain disruption: 56%
  • Impact on people mobility: 31%
  • Other: 13%

PwC Brexit advice

We continue to provide a range of client advice on Brexit. We have recently provided new and updated guidance on our Brexit page.

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Contact us

Johanna Dehaene

Corporate Communications, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 6547

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