Wednesday 18 October 2017

German business: Ireland will suffer most from Brexit

After the Brexit vote, German Chancellor Angela Merkel all but ruled out making Ireland a special case in the post-Brexit negotiations with Britain Photo: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters
After the Brexit vote, German Chancellor Angela Merkel all but ruled out making Ireland a special case in the post-Brexit negotiations with Britain Photo: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters
Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

Influential German business leaders are warning Brexit will "create significant job losses" in Ireland, damage our growth and harm the country's trade.

The alarming new report on the impact of Brexit on this country also says "Ireland will suffer most from the market volatility and unpredictability".

It said a 'hard Brexit' with harsh terms for Britain could actually force Ireland towards the EU exit door, labelled an 'Irexit'.

The report by the German Chambers of Commerce Worldwide and the German-Irish Chamber of Commerce says "Ireland will unduly suffer" because of Brexit if our special circumstances are not understood in Brussels, Berlin and EU capitals.

A hard Brexit is viewed in Europe as a way to dissuade other EU members from leaving in the belief that they can retain the trade advantages of staying in the union.

However, there are tensions between German industry and the German government over the terms of the EU exit. German businesses want Britain, as a valuable trading partner, to retain some access to the single market.

DIT lecturer Brian Murphy Picture: Frank McGrath
DIT lecturer Brian Murphy Picture: Frank McGrath

The aim of the report is to inform the German public and decision-makers of the damage that Brexit can do to Ireland.

The German Brexit report, printed under the aegis of the German-Irish Chamber of Commerce, outlines the damage to us.

"Ireland, as the EU member state most connected with Britain, will suffer most from the market volatility and unpredictability that Brexit brings in its wake. This report highlights how Brexit will damage Ireland's economic growth, harm trade and create significant job losses. The report also explains how Brexit will have distressing consequences for Ireland's key industries, including the FDI sector, agri-food, and tourism, and how Brexit could seriously impinge on Ireland's energy security," it says.

There is a clear warning about the knock-on effect of Brexit on Ireland's EU membership.

"By imposing very harsh terms on Britain to discourage other member states from exiting the EU, the EU needs to actively consider whether this will build momentum towards an 'Irexit', further undermining European cohesion," the report says.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will discuss the report tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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