'We're in the middle of a currency crisis' - IBEC
Published 12/10/2016 | 02:30
Brexit has led to a currency crisis with agri-food producers in rural areas likely to take the biggest hit, an IBEC boss has warned.
As the export industry grapples with the fall in sterling, concerns now mount over the future of imports into the country.
Fergal O'Brien, director of policy at IBEC, representing Irish business both domestically and internationally, is urging the Government to deliver a "Brexit proofed" Budget in order to stem economic carnage along the way.
"They are starting to realise we are now in the middle of a currency crisis. The 85p exchange rate we had before British Prime Minister Theresa May's speech was already a point of pain but it has really intensified. We need an urgent response," he said.
He contends that the Government has been "far too complacent" about the UK's decision to exit the EU and fears regional communities will lose significantly more.
"Our manufacturing, hospitality and agri-food industry happen in regional areas. Indigenous and small businesses are really, really, struggling for jobs and we leave ourselves very exposed for any downturns in multinationals. Beneath the surface there will be a lot of turmoil unless we take some very serious measures," he said.
Mr O'Brien, who was a key speaker at last week's Ulster Bank Business Roadshow event on futuristic farming in conjunction with the Irish Independent, pointed to other challenges including supply chain managers in the UK rethinking their supply chain model.
Imports are also a worry.