Wednesday 17 January 2018

Republic may benefit from leaving the euro, says DUP's Wilson


Thomas Molloy

NORTHERN Ireland's finance minister Sammy Wilson said there may be "certain advantages" if the Republic leaves the euro.

The DUP politician's comments were made in an interview with Bloomberg.

"I see certain advantages in that," he said. "One way of stimulating their economy is if they have greater freedom.

"In 1992, the UK was told if it didn't stay in the Exchange Rate Mechanism all kinds of disasters would befall Britain. They didn't. There are lessons there."

Mr Wilson said it would be better for the global economy if an "orderly dismantling" of the euro region took place.

"The longer this goes on, the more dodgy debt piles up and it creates banking uncertainty," Mr Wilson said. "I don't think it would have a terrible effect on the UK if it collapsed. It is totally inevitable."

Mr Wilson wants the British government to allow Northern Ireland to lower corporation tax rate to a level equal to, or below, the Republic's 12.5pc.

Yesterday, he said London may be delaying a decision on devolving corporation tax to Northern Ireland because of fears that Scotland's government may seek the same power.


It is not the first time Mr Wilson has criticised the European Union. Last month, he said Northern Ireland could be better off if the UK was not a member of the EU.

All of the DUP's MPs voted in favour of a referendum on EU membership in a recent vote in the House of Commons.

Last week, Mr Wilson -- a former economics teacher -- described the eurozone as "an unviable" arrangement.

"I think that the attempts to keep what is an unviable exchange arrangement in place has actually depressed the economies of Europe and therefore depressed our markets," he added.

Irish Independent

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