23 June 2015: The Irish Exporters Association, Euler Hermes and William Fry this morning organised a ‘Brexit briefing’ to educate and inform IEA members and stakeholders of the potential implications for Ireland if Britain leaves the EU. 150 guests attended the offices of William Fry to hear from of Ana Boata, European Economist at Euler Hermes; Dermot Curran, Assistant Secretary General with responsibility for the British-Irish and Northern Ireland Affairs Division at the Department of Taoiseach; Paul Finnerty, Group Chief Executive, ABP Food Group and Stephen Keogh, Partner and head of William Fry’s London Office. H.E Dominick Chilcott, British Ambassador to Ireland spoke about the close relationship that exists between Great Britain and Ireland.
Simon McKeever, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association and Chair of the Brexit briefing said: “The possibility of a so-called ‘Brexit’ is extremely serious, not just for Ireland, but for the UK, EU and US. We all know how important a trading partner the UK is to Ireland, but Ireland is also a very important export market for the UK. It is therefore of vital importance that the Irish government prepares for that unlikely possibility, and that both governments work together to put measures in place to secure the bilateral trade relationship no matter what the outcome of the UK referendum. We appreciate the role today’s speakers play in supporting this critical issue. This is a perfect example of the cooperation that exists between Ireland, the UK and Europe, and we urge the governments to continue to work together so we can enjoy greater economic prosperity together.”
Ana Boata, European Economist, Euler Hermes, said: “The impact of United Kingdom’s exit from the EU will have both positive and negative effects on Ireland. In the short term, there will be painful economic dislocation as the two close trading partners adjust to the UK’s non-EU status and Ireland finds new markets. The longer term gain could include Dublin attracting significant investment flows from London, notably in the financial, chemicals and pharmaceutical sectors.”
“Increased uncertainty and delayed investments in the lead up the UK vote may lead to slower investment growth and higher export and import prices, which may generate higher inflation and slower down GDP growth. In the event of Brexit, we expect Ireland to suffer higher energy prices and possible supply disruption as most energy imports come from the UK. The industrial and chemicals sectors may be impacted the most. Longer term, Ireland may become the preferred US gateway to Europe instead of the UK, and would then attract additional investments.”
“We see the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU as only a 10% probability, but in that scenario expect Irish GDP to fall by -2% in the first year after a Brexit and to gradually recover afterwards, provided Ireland replaces the loss in export market shares with the UK and attracts additional FDI, including the transfer of European banks to Dublin.”
Bryan Bourke, Managing Partner of William Fry said: “We are delighted to host this event and be at the forefront of such an important issue. Ireland is the UK’s fifth largest market for exports and Great Britain is Ireland’s most important single export market for goods and services. A large amount of our international work comes out of London where we have an office so this issue is of great importance to us and our clients both Irish and international.”