The incoming president of employers' group Ibec, Alastair Blair, has called for a speedy outcome on post-Brexit trade deal talks so business can prepare "for what's ahead."

Speaking at an online event to mark the start of his term as Ibec president, the country managing director of Accenture in Ireland said the "uncertainty is not good for business."

He also reiterated calls made in Ibec's pre-Budget submission for the Government to maintain supports for business and to commit to an additional €6 billion of investment in "real, long term structural support."

He said Ireland must continue to be a great place for people to come and work and that more investment was needed in transport, "world class education", better healthcare and making "housing available that people can actually afford."

Meanwhile the Taoiseach told the Ibec webinar that Ireland had gone, in a few short months, from a balanced budget and record employment to a deep and swift recession of a type never seen before.

Micheál Martin said decisions to impose new restrictions were not taken lightly but on expert advice that they will save lives.

He said the Government is determined to work in partnership with the Irish people and Irish business to manage the challenges faced and to begin the path to recovery.

He said it will do this while ensuring public health is protected and managing the challenge of Brexit.

He said he looked forward to continuing to work with Ibec.