A new survey shows that 74% of business leaders do not believe that the EU and UK can achieve a trade deal by the December 2020 deadline.

The new quarterly Director Sentiment Monitor survey from the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland also shows that 87% of business leaders believe that Brexit's impact on the Irish economy will be negative in the short-term. 

49% of those surveyed believe it will be negative in the long term while just 4% believe it will be positive in the short-term.

When asked about Ireland's status in the EU post-Brexit, 30% believe it will be "enhanced", which is a 9% decrease on the previous quarter.

30% say it is "difficult to judge", 22% believe it will be "diminished" and 19% say it will be "unchanged".

The findings are released today in advance of the resumption of the EU-UK trade deal talks. 

With talks disrupted by the outbreak of Covid-19, the EU and the UK agreed a new timetable for three further rounds of post-Brexit trade negotiations including today,  May 11 and June 1. Each round of talks is projected to last one week.

Maura Quinn, CEO of the Institute of Directors in Ireland, said that these are "immensely challenging times" for us all, for society as a whole, for employees and their families, and businesses. 

She said that while Brexit and the EU-UK trade talks had been sidelined as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, business leaders are acutely aware of the potential Brexit fallout and the importance of these negotiations to our open economy. 

"Whether or not there is a trade deal achieved by the December deadline, it is imperative that we see some positive signs emerge from these talks that a trade deal is within range, even if it is not achievable this year," Ms Quinn said. 

"This is crucial as we have a context where many are forecasting tough times ahead for the global economy. Business confidence needs a boost," she added.

The survey was conducted between March 18-26 amongst IoD's 3,000 members, comprising CEOs and company directors.