Thursday 29 June 2017

Government must stand prepared

'At that Oireachtas Finance Committee meeting last week it also emerged that the Department of Finance's Brexit unit comprises just four people' (stock photo)
'At that Oireachtas Finance Committee meeting last week it also emerged that the Department of Finance's Brexit unit comprises just four people' (stock photo)

In the modern age, by far the greatest issue facing this country will be the consequences of Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, otherwise known as Brexit, the potential implications of which were outlined in startling terms by the Chief Economist at the Department of Finance at a meeting of the Oireachtas Finance Committee last week.

In an assessment of the economic impact on Ireland of the Brexit scenario outlined in a speech by British PM Theresa May last Tuesday, he said that the emerging Brexit scenario will reduce Ireland's economic output by 3.5pc over five years, result in 40,000 fewer people being employed, increase the national debt by €20bn and reduce exports to the UK by a third.

The focus of attention this weekend is understandably on the United States following the inauguration of President Donald Trump on Friday. From his stated policies, and general rhetoric to date, it is evident that Ireland's economy, and therefore society at large, faces a further threat from events stateside, not least to the pharmaceutical component developed within the country's successful Foreign Direct Investment policy.

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