Sunday 17 December 2017

Ailish O'Hora: So Britain has left the EU - six things this means for Ireland

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Ailish O'Hora

Ailish O'Hora

So Britain has voted to leave the EU. What's next for Ireland?

1: Let’s start with a positive. Many, even pro-Remain advocates, believe Dublin could win investment from companies that need to be based in an EU country in the event of a British vote to withdraw. The IDA is working to try and capitalise on a possible Brexit, by attracting multinationals with operations in London to Dublin. But the expectation is that the negatives will far outweigh the positives brought about by the possibility of increased investment.

Read more: UK votes to leave EU as Farage claims victory and pound plummets

2: The initial impact will be around the currency. Sterling has been weakening which means it is more expensive for Irish exporters to sell into Britain. If a Brexit occurs, sterling will weaken even further, making Irish exporters even less competitive in the UK market

3: Trade could be hit. With one country still in the EU, and the other not, that could pose problems. With €1.2bn worth of trade every week between the two countries, any new trade barriers would be unwelcome.

Read more: Sinead Ryan: Five ways Ireland will be poorer following the British decision to exit the EU

4: Northern Ireland. The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic would become an EU frontier. Could border controls be reimposed? Would there be customs checks? That will all be thrashed out in the two-year negotiation period. The Revenue Commissioners is already examining what it would need to do if a customs border is put in place.

5: Energy market. Questions have been raised about security of supply and the all-island Single Electricity Market. Energy costs in Ireland may also increase, as a result of potential tariffs on energy imports from the UK.

Read more: All you need to know: Britain is leaving the EU - what happens next?

6: The Irish in the UK. The leave campaign has stated that any restrictions on the free movement of people will not apply to those from Ireland. But there are concerns within the Irish government that benefit changes in Britain could impact Irish people working there.

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