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Social and economic woes in store for Ireland if Britain leaves European Union – Reilly

5 November, 2015

Speaking today Sinn Fein Senator Kathryn Reilly raised concerns outlined in a report by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) on the implications for Ireland if Britain was to vote to leave the European Union.

Senator Reilly said:

“The Scoping the Possible Economic Implications of Brexit on Ireland report published today by the ESRI highlights in depth the possible scale of the economic consequences for Ireland were Britain to leave the EU.

“The referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU will happen in the not too distant future. Therefore, it is very important that we have reports such as this, and it is equally important that everyone on the island of Ireland is cognisant of the implications, social, economic, and otherwise, for Ireland of a British exit from the EU.

“The report estimates that Ireland could be worse off to the tune of €3 billion a year if Britain leaves the EU. According to the ESRI, that 20% drop would come from decreased and lost trade combined with increased energy costs. The loss of such a significant sum to our small island economy would be huge, and is worrying in the extreme.

“The report is particularly worrying for the Border counties. The research found that the negative economic consequences of a Brexit for Ireland would be most profound along the border region and in the six counties.

“I have been particularly vocal to date on the negative implications which a British exit from the EU would have on the border regions. For those of us who live along the border, the effects would be massive. Furthermore, there would be social as well as economic consequences; a British exit could see the reintroduction of border controls and check points, custom checks, and other such negative measures.

“Earlier in the year when the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs published a report on our assessment of the implications for Ireland of a British exit from the EU, I made it clear that the border communities must be protected against any eventuality. That is still my belief, and I will continue speak out on behalf of the border counties in the Oireachtas on this issue.

“The ESRI report is of significant importance, it is imperative that we are informed on all possibilities and outcomes if Britain does leave the EU. This report outlines many of the economic implications and I would hope that it stimulates a conversation amongst the Irish people and media so we can have an informed debate on the issue.” 

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