Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Lisa Chambers TD has said the possibility of a hard Brexit remains a very real threat and has voiced her concerns that Irish businesses are not prepared for such a scenario.

Deputy Chambers made her comments on foot of a PWC report which found that a hard albeit orderly Brexit remains the most likely outcome.

Commenting Chambers said, “PWC’s assessment is that a hard, albeit orderly Brexit is the most likely outcome and that business need to plan on the basis of this assumption. This follows on from a warning from the Central Bank that it is still plausible that there will be a hard Brexit less than a year from now.

“The Central Bank has further warned that in the event of no post-Brexit trade agreement being reached, GDP in Ireland might be around 3% lower after ten years than under a no-Brexit scenario. The Central Bank also notes that this could translate into roughly 40,000 fewer jobs.

“These are stark warnings and I am concerned that the Government is not doing enough to help businesses prepare for such a scenario. A recent AIB survey found that only 6% of SMEs in the Republic of Ireland have a Brexit plan in place whilst the corresponding figure for Northern Ireland is 2%.

“I am concerned that the Government is not doing enough domestically to prepare for a hard Brexit. Our businesses and SMEs need to see more leadership, support and guidance from the Government in this regard.

“Brexit in whatever shape it eventually takes is going to cause disruption and it would be gravely erroneous to not heed the many warnings that a hard Brexit remains a probability. At this juncture there are no bullet proof or cast iron guarantees as to what will happen.”