Brexit could alter trade, economic policies between UK and Ireland

CCTV News

Brexit could alter trade, economic policies between UK and Ireland

Britain is the Republic of Ireland’s biggest trade partner in the EU. On Thursday, Irish citizens living in the U.K. are eligible to vote in the membership referendum.

The Irish government is hoping its citizens vote to remain in. But if the U.K. opts out of the EU, things could change drastically for its citizens. Including the possibility of border posts between the two countries.

CCTV’s Lourda Sexton reports.
Follow Lourda Sexton on Twitter @lourdasexton

Brexit could alter trade, economic policies between UK and Ireland

Brexit could alter trade, economic policies between UK and Ireland

Britain is the Republic of Ireland’s biggest trade partner in the EU. On Thursday, Irish citizens living in the U.K. are eligible to vote in the membership referendum. The Irish government is hoping its citizens vote to remain in. But if the U.K. opts out of the EU, things could change drastically for its citizens. Including the possibility of border posts between the two countries.

Over half a million Irish citizens are currently living in the U.K. and are eligible to vote on June 23rd. Another quarter of a million British people live in Ireland and they too can influence the vote both ways.

A common travel area currently exists between Ireland and the U.K., allowing people and goods to move freely between the two countries. However experts say that if Britain votes to leave the EU this could change.

“But the chances are there will have to be some sort of border because you can’t close the front door to continental Europe and leave the back door open through the island of Ireland. Now whether that border however pores it will be whether that’s in the island of Ireland between Northern Ireland or between the island of Ireland and Britain will have to be negotiated,” Dr. Vincent Power from A&L Goodbody said.

Trade between Ireland and the U.K. is worth over 1 billion euro each week. Over 40 percent of Irish indigenous exports go to the U.K. and Ireland is the fifth most valuable market for exports from the UK.

If Britain was to leave the EU., Ireland may benefit by attracting additional foreign direct investment. However many here say that the negative impacts on trade outweigh this.

The Irish government and many Irish business groups are backing the remain campaign and have called on people here to phone a friend in the U.K. and ask them to use their vote to ensure the U.K. remains in the EU.

If Britain votes to leave the EU, this will have profound impact on trade between Ireland and the U.K. Not only is there a possibility that tariffs on goods going between both countries will be re-introduced but a physical border between Northern Ireland and the Republic is likely to be re-constructed yet the shape of what this will look like is still unknown.


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