A comprehensive study of almost 350 senior Irish executives indicates that 83pc feel there would be negative consequences for the Irish economy if the UK exits the EU. Thirty-six percent of respondents believe this is likely to happen over the next five years.
The Executive Expectations Report was carried out by Amárach Research on behalf of MERC Partners, Ireland’s leading executive search firm.
“Our Executive Expectations Survey 2015 is our fourth annual survey of senior executives and sets out detailed insights into the experiences of Irish executives over the past 12 months and their expectations for the coming year. Across virtually all the sentiment levels assessed, the reaction was more positive than last year,” said Ruth Curran, managing partner of MERC Partners.
Half of the survey respondents believe that SMEs in Ireland would suffer most as a result of the UK exiting the EU, with a further 20pc feeling the agriculture sector would be hardest hit. On a potentially positive note, two-thirds of respondents (66pc) believe Ireland would become a more attractive investment location for multinationals if the UK leaves.
“While senior executive sentiment is clearly rising as the recovery continues, there is recognition that there is still a distance to go with 35pc of respondents still believing that the turnaround of the economy is less than half way there,” concluded Curran.