A US-based Irish American organization has produced a report which claims that Northern Ireland could have its GDP reduced by billions if reunification does not come as a result of Brexit.
A new report has claimed that reunification after Brexit is the only way in which Northern Ireland will avoid a massive decrease to its GDP.
"The Costs of Non-Unification – Brexit and the Unification of Ireland" looked at the impact on Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in three different post-Brexit scenarios: a hard Brexit in which all of the UK leaves the single market and the customs union; Northern Ireland remaining within the single market and customs union; and the unification of Ireland.
“The only winning scenario is the case of unification where between 2018 and 2025, Northern Ireland would increase its GDP by €17.9bn,” the report found.
“If political actors nevertheless prefer a hard Brexit, or if they are willing to accept a hard Brexit for overarching political reasons, then they accept willingly high negative economic costs.”
The Dublin launch of Kurt Hübner’s report “The Costs of Non-Unification - Brexit and the Unification of Ireland” begins with messages of apology from An Taoiseach & President Higgins who wish it well. pic.twitter.com/qHttE2ulYU— Niall Ó Donnghaile ⭕️ (@NiallSF) November 8, 2018
The report, produced by Canadian firm KLC Consultants for US-based Irish American organization KRB Inc., stated that a hard Brexit would reduce Northern Ireland’s GDP by $11.46bn (€10.1bn) from 2021-25, while Northern Ireland remaining within the single market and customs union would result in a GDP dip of $4.31bn (€3.8bn).
“Since the referendum the whole picture has changed enormously, the macroeconomic situation has changed enormously,” said author, Dr. Kurt Hubner, when presenting the report.
“We already have huge opportunity costs and now with the way we tried to develop those scenarios, it is surprising that the unification one is the only one that would produce positive effects.
“Whereas with a hard Brexit, the losses are already piling up.”
Attending the presentation, Sinn Féin's Vice President Michelle O'Neill commended the report stating: “This report, and particular economic modeling, exposes the hard economic evidence that reunification would provide a massive economic boost to the entire island.
“In the words of the report, unification ‘is the only option with positive net effects.’
“The strength of this evidence cannot be ignored and while we thank Dr. Hubner and his team for this valuable contribution, it is a debate that the Irish Government must now take a much more proactive role in leading.
“A new generation is already questioning partition, particularly in the context of Brexit, and it is time now for the Irish Government to encourage and lead an informed, reasoned and respectful public dialogue on the issue of Irish unity.
“It is also time that the Government prepared a realistic plan for Irish reunification, including the establishment of an Oireachtas committee to bring forward a Green Paper for Irish reunification.”
Ulster Unionist Steve Aiken remained hesitant about the report findings, however.
“A figure they say of about €10bn over the space of a decade is absolutely minuscule and is well within the margin for error,” he said.
.Interesting discussion on Costs of ‘non-unification’. On rerunning model Prof Hubner reports that benefits now much ‘lower’. As his work is refined there will clearly be no economic or political ‘win’ in the tax haven FDI utopia Ireland being pushed today @JP_Biz @uuponline pic.twitter.com/FrJaKK2ioc— Steve Aiken OBE (@SteveAikenUUP) November 7, 2018
“I can only presume when they continue to put data into the model, they will suddenly realize something we have known all along – that unification is not an answer and would be a net detriment to Northern Ireland.
“And that is very clear because there is no way we can go from one of the largest economies in the world with close on a three trillion GDP into joining something like the Irish Republic that will have significant problems going forward, particularly if the Irish Government continue pushing us towards making sure we have a hard Brexit rather than having an appropriate Brexit for everybody.”
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