Brexit News Roundup February 14th, 2018

Report Shows Brexit Will Hit The Irish Economy

A new report outlines four scenarios for Ireland after Brexit,  all showing that the economy will take a hit. The worst case scenario shows the Irish economy will grow by 7% less after Brexit and the best case shows growth will be less by 2.8%. Farmers warn that the outcome for food and agriculture may be “catastrophic”.

Business Minister Heather Humphries says that the government plans to roll out a new €300m Brexit Loan Scheme in late March, available to all sectors, with at least 40pc of low-interest loans being made available to the agri-food sector.

Collapse of Power-Sharing Talks in Northern Ireland

Unfortunately, the week seems to be ending with a deadlock in the talks on power-sharing in the Northern Ireland assembly, due to disagreements over a “stand-alone” Irish Language Act, leaving the people of Northern Ireland with no voice during this critical time in Brexit negotiations.

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The Potential Exit Deals Between the UK & EU

Professor Kevin Featherstone, Head of the European Institute, says that the EU already has many trading agreements in place and if they were to give the UK special concessions, some of those existing external agreements might have to be adjusted to give them the same concessions.

The Norwegian and Swiss model is referred to by critics as “pay, obey, with no say”. They both make significant contributions to the EU budgets, they must accept the adjudication of the EU Court of Justice and the rules the EU establishes for its markets, but they don’t have a say in the setting of those rules. Featherstone said this model would be a “soft Brexit” and would be unlikely to be accepted by the UK.

The Canadian agreement with the EU might be more acceptable as they don’t pay anything into the EU budget, there is no freedom of movement of people, it provides for tariff-free trade but it doesn’t cover services, and services are crucial to the UK, representing 80% of the GDP.

He poses the question as to what Brexit will actually mean for the UK and suggests that some difficult trade-offs will have to be made.

Dublin Port Prepares Customs Checks for Hard Brexit

The Financial Times report that Dublin Port is working on the basis of the inevitability of border controls after Brexit. Assuming, the UK leaves the EU customs union and the single market, more screening will take place on UK imports into the port, in line with the checks that take place already on non-EU imports.

They report that there is contingency planning taking place throughout the Republic of Ireland for a “no deal” hard Brexit.

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Launch of New Brexit Website

Tánaiste & Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., launched the new Brexit website on February 12th, 2018.

The website is to provide information to businesses and the general public on the work that the government is undertaking in the Brexit negotiations and give information on the possible consequences of agreements made.

It covers key documentation, research and analysis and government engagement.

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