Businesses aren't feeling too optimistic now that Boris Johnson is the UK's new premier

Now that Britain has appointed a new leader, Irish firms want an end to the uncertainty around Brexit.

By Laura Roddy Reporter, Fora

AS THE UK’S Conservative leadership race has ended with Boris Johnson on top, Irish businesses have asked for the UK to “end the current uncertainty” around Brexit.

The former mayor of London, who won the leadership race by 66% of the vote, will take over from Theresa May as prime minister tomorrow. 

He won’t get much time to settle into the new role with just just 100 days left until the Brexit deadline, which he has promised to deliver on time – with or without a deal. 

Ireland has been gearing up for a no-deal scenario in recent weeks, with the government publishing a contingency plan on how the country will be affected by a no-deal Brexit. 

Irish business groups have chimed in, congratulating the new leader and asking the UK to move forward on Brexit and end the uncertainty surrounding it.  


John McGrane, director-general of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, said businesses on both sides of the Irish Sea have been operating “without clarity” and in fear of a no-deal “for too long”.

“In recent weeks, small- and medium-sized businesses have had to take the costly decisions to implement no-deal Brexit contingency measures that inhibit their ability to grow in the short term,” he said. 

Only three months out from the Brexit deadline, McGrane said a “disastrous ‘no-deal’ scenario is now a very real prospect” which would be “extremely damaging for everyone” and urged “all sides” to identify a way that protects the 400,000 jobs that could be affected. 

Rosemary Garth, chair of the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland, told Fora in a statement that the possibility of a no-deal Brexit has become very real with Boris Johnson’s appointment.

She said the Irish government needs to consider the industries that are most vulnerable and put measures in place to protect them. 

For the drinks and hospitality sector, she said the government “must do everything in its power to reduce the grave harm that a no-deal Brexit would have on thousands of businesses and more than 100,000 jobs”.

She suggested the reduction of excise tax on alcohol in Budget 2020 and Budget 2021 which would make more funds available for businesses “to weather the toughest moments of a no-deal Brexit”. 


Katy Hutchinson, an analyst at Davy, told investors this morning – before Johnson had won – that sterling remains weak over concerns the new Prime Minister would “trigger a ‘hard Brexit’” and put the UK at a greater risk of recession. 

Goodbody stockbrokers said a no-deal scenario would be avoided because it is against the will of most in the House of Commons.

It said this would be either done through a “pivoting of Boris Johnson to a referendum or general election” but before that point is reached rhetoric and political turmoil will “ramp up”. 

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