Monday 5 December 2016

Brexit Podcast: ‘Ireland stands to lose the most should the UK leave the EU’

Published 08/06/2016 | 13:22

John McGrane, John Mattimoe, Dearbhail McDonald and Colm Kelpie. Podcast. INM, Talbot Street, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
John McGrane, John Mattimoe, Dearbhail McDonald and Colm Kelpie. Podcast. INM, Talbot Street, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

In the second in a series of special Brexit podcasts brought to you by Independent.ie, INM Group Business Editor, Dearbhail McDonald, discusses the consequences for Irish business if Brexit happens.

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Dearbhail was joined by John McGrane, Director General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, John Mattimoe, Head of Equity Analysis at Appian Asset Management, and Colm Kelpie INM Business Reporter.

“Brexit could cut 20pc of Irish trade and knock 1.1 percentage points off GDP growth before the end of 2017. This makes Ireland the country that stands to lose the most should the UK leave the EU and no economist or think-tank says the UK will be better off by leaving either,” said John McGrane.

Colm Kelpie who has been covering the Brexit campaign in the UK says economics are not to the forefront in the discussion.

“Immigration is the big issue that’s dominating the debate in UK,” he explained. “And while in Ireland, the vast majority of Irish businesses are for remaining, in Britain it’s a very different picture where a lot of businesses are for leaving. The economic argument is just not having the same effect.”

“It’s too close to call,” admitted equity analyst, John Mattimoe.

“Markets never like uncertainty, sterling has weakened 10pc since December and has been very volatile in that period. There’s also been turbulence in the equity markets with smaller midcap companies such as UK house builders seeing their share prices down 20pc since last year.”

“But the world will still keep on turning if a Brexit happens,” added McGrane. “Business is about being pragmatic and practical and getting the job done. But having said that, it doesn’t need to be catastrophic for it to be important, which it vitally is.” 

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