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Lost trade and hiked energy costs must be central to Brexit debate

5 November, 2015 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has said that an analysis by the Economic and Social Research Institute has confirmed that a British withdrawal from the EU would cost Ireland billions of euros every year in lost trade and hiked energy costs must be central to the debate on Brexit across the island of Ireland.

The Midlands North West MEP said,

"The analysis looked at the issue in terms of Trade, Foreign Direct Investment implications, Energy and Migration/Labour market and the results simply confirmed what we have been saying for months.

"The analysis outlined that Britain outside the EU would be less attractive to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) because of uncertainty and reduced access to the EU Single Market. Less FDI in Britain would be likely to translate into a lower potential growth there with negative consequences on Ireland’s economic growth.

"The study also suggests that a Brexit could significantly reduce bilateral trade flows between Ireland and Britain. The impact could be 20 per cent or more, but the impact would differ significantly across sectors and products, not to mention the impact on cross border trade. 

"Additionally, the report highlights how Brexit could impact on Ireland through environmental policy via the operation of the Single Electricity Market on the island of Ireland, and could also necessitate more costly interconnection infrastructure in order to connect to the EU electricity market.

"In terms of migration, a British exit from the EU opens up the possibility of restrictions on the free movement of people for the purposes of work. As Britain remains an important destination for Irish emigrants especially at times of high unemployment, such restrictions could have implications for the Irish labour market and catastrophic implications for those working across the border. 

"Whilst we need to be honest about the mistakes and failings which have seen growing numbers of people across Europe lose faith in the European Union and we must not ignore how the European Union has treated Ireland, an exit from the EU would be absolutely detrimental to our island as a whole." ENDS

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