Supply chain disruption is the biggest concern of business leaders here arising from a possible hard Brexit, according to the results of a new survey.

The poll found supply chain disruption including the cost of new sources of supply to be a worry for almost a quarter of those questioned.

Reduced economic growth and loss of jobs is the next biggest issue weighing on the minds of the 600 business leaders questioned, with 23% referencing the threat.

The possibility of a hard border in Northern Ireland is a worry for 17% of respondents, while chaos and delays at borders is cited by 13% as being of concern.

A higher cost of doing business due to tariffs or extra administration is seen as a potential problem by a similar percentage of those surveyed.

However according to the findings, businesses here don’t consider Brexit all negative.

The poll found almost three quarters of senior executives see a great opportunity for the country from increased Foreign Direct Investment flowing here as a result of Ireland remaining a gateway to the EU and having access to EU and UK talent.

Future growth opportunities for financial services here is seen as a potential positive by 58% of respondents, while Ireland’s more prominent role in the EU is considered beneficial by just over half.

One in four also see opportunities for greater diversification of markets and suppliers. 

The poll was conducted at PwC’s recent Annual Business Forum in Dublin.

The company recommends that because the passing of the current Withdrawal Agreement cannot be guaranteed, Irish firms trading with the UK should immediately review their supply chains.

It also suggests that businesses that don’t have experience of dealing with customs requirements should familiarise themselves with procedures.

While for financial services firms, PwC Ireland says it is important that they understand the impact that the loss of passporting rights will have on the flow of financial services from and into the UK.

"The end of March 2019 is approaching fast and there is a risk that the worst case scenario crystalises leaving the UK trading under WTO rules," said  Feargal O’Rourke, Managing Partner, PwC Ireland.

"While the political uncertainty is likely to continue, business leaders need to focus on running their businesses in an ongoing disruptive environment."

"Having contingency plans while remaining flexible and agile are key at this time."