Friday 28 July 2017

Now retailers hit as shoppers head North in ‘Border Brexodus’

Kenny snubbed by Foster on all-island plan

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster at the North-South
Ministerial Council Meeting at Dublin Castle yesterday. Photo: Tony Gavin
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster at the North-South Ministerial Council Meeting at Dublin Castle yesterday. Photo: Tony Gavin

Niall O'Connor and Colm Kelpie

The weakened Sterling will send shoppers across the border into Northern Ireland to avail of cheaper prices, the Department of Finance has admitted.

The value of the pound has fallen since the Brexit vote last month, making the North more attractive as a destination for shoppers.

The Department of Finance is now warning Vat receipts on sales will drop here as a result of less goods being bought in shops.

"We would expect, later on in the year, and again it depends on the strength of Sterling, that we will probably see some linkage across to Northern Ireland in terms of Vat, and people [will] go and shop there," John Palmer, Principal Officer at the Department of Finance, said.

Also in the Brexit fallout, Taoiseach Enda Kenny was humiliated yesterday when Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster shot down his idea of an all-island forum to help Dublin and Belfast jointly handle the impact of the British vote to leave the EU.

"That seemed to gather some currency over the weekend. But it was not discussed with me at any time over the weekend or indeed before. It was not discussed today," Ms Foster said, standing beside the Taoiseach at a North-South Ministerial Council meeting in Dublin Castle.

Meanwhile, Mr Kenny has capitulated to the demands of Independent Alliance ministers to be allowed to vote in the Dáil for legislation to allow for abortions in cases of fatal foetal abnormality.

Despite the legislation being deemed to be unconstitutional by the Attorney General, Máire Whelan, Mr Kenny will allow a free vote for Transport Minister Shane Ross and members of the Independent Alliance.

He will avoid an issue of a breach of collective Cabinet responsibility arising for Mr Ross by not making a formal decision.

The move leaves the AG severely undermined and the stability of the minority Government damaged.

Irish Independent

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