Saturday 19 October 2019

'Risks of no-deal Brexit scenario facing Ireland are building' - Donohoe says as pressure mounts on May to name departure date

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

David Chance

THE Irish economy needs to face up to an increasing risk that there will be a no-deal Brexit, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said on Thursday.

The Minister was speaking a day after Prime Minister Theresa May’s government was hit by another cabinet resignation when Andrea Leadsom said she would leave and as it appeared that May’s new Brexit deal would not make it to a vote.

"I still believe it is very much possible for an agreement to be reached ... but we can all see, and we are all aware of, the strain and pressure that is building in the UK on the back of the European Parliament elections.

"The risks of a no-deal Brexit scenario facing Ireland later on this year are building," the Minister told journalists after speaking at a tax conference.

Most economic forecasts say that in the absence of Brexit, the economy here will grow around 4pc this year.

If there is a hard Brexit, the Central Bank of Ireland believes growth could be as little as 1pc in the first 12 months following Britain’s departure.

His remarks come as Britain's foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said that Mrs May would still be prime minister when US President Donald Trump visits Britain in early June.

"Theresa May will be prime minister to welcome him, and rightly so," Hunt said when asked by a reporter who he expected would be prime minister when Trump starts his state visit to Britain on June 3.

British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: Bloomberg
British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: Bloomberg

Mrs May was under intense pressure to name a date for her departure after failing in her latest bid to break the Brexit impasse in parliament.

Hunt declined to comment when asked what he would discuss with Mrs May in a meeting later on Thursday.

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