In a statement issued today (Friday, 24 June 2016), following the UK’s vote yesterday to exit the European Union, Shannon Chamber, in conjunction with Chambers Ireland, said: “We are left with a large degree of uncertainty on what will now follow. In the immediate term, we can expect some degree of currency fluctuation in Sterling and possibly other currencies, so businesses with exposure to Sterling should consider how they will manage this. There may also be some market volatility with knock-on consequences for investments and pensions and it is unclear how long this period of uncertainty will last.
“However, it is important to highlight that there should be no immediate impact as negotiations for a UK exit from the European Union are likely to take a considerable amount of time. While the UK is Ireland’s largest single trading partner in Europe and ranks second to the USA in terms of global export markets, the share of Irish exports (goods and services) to the UK has fallen from 55% to 17% over the last 40 years with imports decreasing from 50% to 26% since 1975.
“The EU bloc (excluding the UK) is the largest trading partner of the Ireland, and accounts for more than twice the volume of Irish merchandise exports to the USA. Irish exporters should therefore look to building on already strong links with US and EU markets in the months and years to come to account for any disruption to trade links with the United Kingdom
Shannon Chamber president Julie Dickerson added: “It will be in the interests of all parties to work together to find a path forward. Ireland is an important trading partner to the UK and that won’t change. There will be challenges ahead although, aside from the immediate turmoil in the markets, nothing will change in business dealings in the near future as it is expected the process will take at least 2 years to effect after invoking Article 50 which is the procedure to negotiate terms to withdraw.
“Everyone needs to remain calm and careful in their speculations about what may happen. The UK will continue to be an important trading partner and ultimately there will be a workable outcome and possibly even positive opportunities for the region as a result of this.”