Graham Scallan Wexford

Wexford Chamber Briefing Businesses For a Post Brexit Environment

Graham Scallan Wexford

On June 23rd 2016, the UK voted for a momentous change, a change that has already had an extraordinary impact on a global scale. In Ireland, we fear a post-Brexit economy, we dread the potential economic devastation that has been predicted, but ultimately we are scared of the unknown.

On Wednesday last, Wexford Chamber took the first step in tackling this uncertainty by hosting a Brexit Breakfast Briefing in the Ferrycarrig Hotel.  The purpose of the event, which attracted many guests from right across the business community, was to prepare local companies for the impact which Brexit may have on their business activities.

Expanding on this idea, the CEO of Wexford Chamber, Madeleine Quirke said ‘The immediate fluctuations in sterling, coupled with the global reaction to Brexit has created a sense of uncertainty within the local business community and we decided that this Brexit briefing would provide the perfect opportunity to understand how businesses can limit their exposure and search for the new opportunities which Brexit may present.

The Brexit briefing offered attendees a comprehensive viewpoint on the potential impact of this historic development, through a series of guest speakers.  Mary Morrissey, Senior Manager with Board Bia (Food and Beverage Division), highlighted some of the potential implications for the food sector, whilst Billy Sweetman from PWC shared some unique insights into the economic repercussions of Brexit.

But aside from flagging the potential dangers, this event managed to balance the concerns with the opportunities that may also arise from Brexit.  Killian Duignan from Business Boost International highlighted the export potential that other international markets could provide for Wexford businesses, while Emma Kennedy from the Sunday Business Post and Vincent Crimmins (Head of FX Strategy and Trading) from Bank of Ireland shared their perspectives on how Brexit would alter the economic and financial landscapes.

Speaking about the success of the briefing, Karl Fitzpatrick, President of Wexford Chamber, stated that “I believe that briefings such as this, bring a sense of realism and perspective to the issue, which not only enables businesses to prepare for the challenges in a proactive and strategic manner, but also to identify the potential opportunities in a post-Brexit environment. Exporters to the UK were advised to consider options such as forward contracts and to set-up sterling deposit accounts, while importers were advised to request dual invoices from UK suppliers (in both euro and sterling) to minimise their exposure.” added Mr. Fitzpatrick.

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