Saturday 3 December 2016

Majority feel Brexit is bad for Irish economy

Published 01/07/2016 | 02:30

Demonstrators hold a sign above umbrellas during a pro- EU rally in Trafalgar Square Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Demonstrators hold a sign above umbrellas during a pro- EU rally in Trafalgar Square Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

More than half of Irish people believe Brexit will be bad for the Irish economy, and the vast majority are opposed to border controls being reintroduced between north and south, a survey suggests.

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Most of those quizzed believe Europe is more important to Ireland than the UK.

And just over a third say they believe they will shop across the border in Northern Ireland, as sterling has weakened in the wake of last week's vote.

The poll, commissioned by public relations firm PR360 and carried out by Amarach Research, measured Brexit sentiment among a representative sample of 1,000 people living in Ireland on Wednesday.

When asked what impact Brexit will have on the Irish economy, 56pc said it will have a negative effect, while 45pc see it as a threat.

Around 30pc of those surveyed see some opportunity for Ireland.

Dan Pender, PR360 managing director, said the result had generated unprecedented business, political and public reaction, giving rise to more questions than answers.

"The poll offers the first quantified snapshot of public sentiment, and an early insight into people's thinking on what the result may mean," Mr Pender said.

"The two most striking indicators are economic nervousness and pro-European sentiment.

"Over half of those polled believe the result will have a negative economic impact. Over one-third said they are more likely to shop across the border post-Brexit.

"This suggests an uncertain period, which is never good for business.

"It will be interesting to track consumer behaviour, company performances and Exchequer returns over the second half of the year."

The survey also found huge opposition to border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic, with 86pc saying they would be against this.

And 33pc said they believed a UK exit from the EU makes a united Ireland more likely.

In terms of attitudes towards Europe, 62pc said Europe was more important to Ireland than the UK.

And asked how they would vote in an in-out EU referendum held in Ireland, 80pc said they would vote to remain, with 13pc opting to leave, and 7pc undecided.

Irish Independent

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