By Triona Crowley
A study released by Copenhagen Economics has revealed a hard-Brexit would cost Ireland up to 18 billion euro, leaving it the most Brexit-exposed country in Europe and in turn cutting the total annual growth of the country from 2.2% to 1.7%.
Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation, Heather Humphreys, today, February 21st, hosted over 200 stakeholders at a conference in Croke Park to discuss the findings of the study, saying “I think its fair to say that the report from Copenhagen Economics makes for stark reading.”
Since 2015 two separate studies have been commissioned by the government looking at Brexit and its impact from a number of different scenarios, including the risk of no deal being reached between London and Brussels.
A no-deal outcome is the worst case scenario for Ireland and would lead to a 7% strike to the country’s GDP by 2030 while Britain joining the European Economic Area after leaving the union would be the least disruptive scenario, the report clearly states no matter the final deal agreed, Brexit will hit the Irish economy.
Within the report it is noted that just five sectors within the economy – Air transport, Pharmaceuticals, Wholesale, Electrical and Agricultural Foods – will account for 90% of the overall impact.
Wages within in all skill sets in Ireland will also be hit by Brexit, possibly falling as low as 8.7% below the baseline in the worst case scenario.
Project Ireland 2040, unveiled last week, addressed these studies and assured they would be used as a means of “Brexit-proofing” the country in the years to come, putting emphasis on investing in the border counties.
Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Finance, today noted Brexit as a challenge of historic proportions for Ireland but assured that the government was working hard to adopt “sound economic and budgetary policies” to equip the country to deal with what lies ahead, including providing €300 million loan fund for small businesses.
Talks are ongoing leaving British PM, Theresa May, with just 8 months to solidify a deal with the EU.
Image: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomburg