We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
Neale Richmond, the TD – Irish equivalent of an MP – for Dublin Rathdown, has warned the economic impact of Brexit “will be stark”. The Irish politician, who is the Fine Gael spokesman on European Affairs, has highlighted a number of issues facing the country post-Brexit.
Mr Richmond said the impact of Brexit will be dramatic, even if a deal is reached between the UK and the European Union in the coming weeks.
Writing in the Financial Times, he said: “Whether there is a Brexit deal, or no deal, the economic impact on Ireland of the UK leaving the EU will be stark…
“The Irish economy has always been heavily exposed to the UK, even if the relationship has changed.”
The TD points out when Ireland joined the European Economic Community (EEC) – the precursor to the EU – in 1973, 55 percent of exports went to the UK.
This is now down to nine percent, but Mr Richmond warns the UK is still Ireland’s biggest trading partner in terms of food products.
He states: “Roughly 50 percent of Irish beef, 34 percent of dairy products and 80 percent of mushroom sales go to the UK.
“After the 2016 Brexit referendum, the currency fluctuation wiped 10 percent off the value of Ireland’s mushroom industry.”
As a result, Mr Richmond has urged the markets to diversify.
JUST IN: Back of the queue! Boris Johnson SNUBBED as Biden to prioritise EU
He said: “Diversification is key to protecting the Irish economy from the vicissitudes of Brexit.”
The politician pointed out the cheese industry is already doing this.
He said farmers are looking to produce buffalo mozzarella, as more than 80 percent of Irish cheddar is exported to the UK.
Mr Richmond also highlighted another issue facing Ireland is that the majority of exports travel via the UK.
Barnier hits out at Boris for using plans to Brexit threat as leverage [DETAILS]
Give us what we want! Barnier posts shopping list of Brexit demands [INSIGHT]
EU exploits Biden’s victory to launch secret plot against UK in Brexit [ANALYSIS]
He said: “Since most Irish exports go through the UK, Ireland’s difficulty is not necessarily in selling its goods but in physically transporting them to the wider world.
“Still, much of the freight travelling to and from Ireland is by road.
“Each year some 150,000 trucks transport 3m tonnes of freight across Britain’s “land bridge” to the continent.
“Because the journey to the EU is less than 20 hours by road — compared to between 40 and 60 hours by sea — the land bridge is preferable for moving food, live animals and other high-value goods.”
But the Irish government is urging traders to look at new ways to transport their goods, as they fear hold-ups could take place after the UK fully cuts ties with the bloc at the end of the year.
Mr Richmond concludes the piece by affirming Ireland’s future lies with the EU.
He said: “Ireland hopes to have a good trading relationship with the UK after Brexit; our geography requires this.
“But the future for Ireland is clearly aligned to Europe.”
Source: Read Full Article