Thursday 23 March 2017

Ireland must give neighbourly advice to UK - former EU advisor

Philippe Legrain and Institute of Directors chief executive Maura Quinn at the Dublin event yesterday. Photo: Jason Clarke.
Philippe Legrain and Institute of Directors chief executive Maura Quinn at the Dublin event yesterday. Photo: Jason Clarke.
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

An economic recession and potential financial crisis in Britain in the event of a Brexit would spill over into Ireland, an ex-advisor to former European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has warned.

Philippe Legrain told an Institute of Directors event yesterday that the value of the pound would plummet, with a negative knock-on effect for Irish exporters.

"Brexit would disrupt Ireland's trade with Britain.

"There would be tariffs, customs checks, rules of origin requirements and other red tape," Mr Legrain said at the event in Dublin's Westbury Hotel.

"That matters, because Britain is the largest export market for Irish services and the second-largest export market for Irish goods.

"Since Ireland would have to apply EU tariffs on UK imports, prices would go up too. And cross-border supply chains would be disrupted twice over."

He said Ireland would lose a key liberal ally in the EU that favours free trade, deregulation and low taxes, while the common travel area would be put at risk.

"Last but not least, Brexit could cause the EU to unravel further, fuelling nationalism and populism, weakening the West in the face of Vladimir Putin's newly-aggressive Russia, and making the international system more unstable," he said. "As a neighbour and partner, Irish voices need to speak out."

Irish Independent

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