Think tank criticises North politicians on ‘Brexit’

The North’s unionist politicians need to think more about economic prosperity and all-Ireland trade if the UK were to vote to leave the EU, a think tank has said.

The Institute of International and European Affairs published an update to its book published last year on the impact on Ireland if Britain were to vote to leave the EU.

David Cameron may call a referendum on ‘Brexit’ this year.

In Britain and Europe: The Endgame A Postscript, the IIEA says the debate on security in Europe after the Paris killings could help Mr Cameron win a referendum if he were to frame the debate in terms of needing co-operation with Europe.

The think tank is far less impressed by North’s politicians — particularly unionist leaders — saying their “grudging” comments reveal a failure to acknowledge the current “systemic links across the border”.

“Such a narrow approach to growing the island economy and the wider lack of engagement with Europe, may be politically popular within some circles of Northern politics, but makes no sense from a business or economic perspective,” the IIEA says.

It believes Mr Cameron would need at least a 55% result to stay inEurope for him “to declare the question settled.”

“The island of Ireland is unfortunate in that the scope of its economic activities is divided by an international land border between a small state and a region of a larger state which have tax systems that are not very harmonised, and currencies that can fluctuate rapidly,” the IIEA says.


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