Ireland could see a significant increase in the number of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers arriving here after Brexit, a Government report has warned.

The National Risk Assessment 2018 report finds that Ireland is at risk of increased illegal movement of asylum seekers.

“Brexit may give rise to a risk of increased illegal movement of third-country nationals into Ireland from the UK, as well as possible consequences for secondary movements of asylum seekers and illegal migrants from the UK to Ireland in the event of UK divergence from EU law in the field of asylum,” the report states.

The Cabinet is due to meet in Kerry tomorrow, where Tánaiste Simon Coveney will outline contingency plans being developed in case of a hard Brexit.

The National Risk Assessment report also identifies Brexit-related threats to growth, warning that even a soft Brexit will have a “dampening effect” on our economy.

The report points to studies which have found that, depending on what arrangements are hammered out, Brexit will result in Irish GDP in 2030 being between 2.8% and 7% below what would be projected if Britain remained in the EU.

Five sectors account for 90% of the negative impact — agri-food, pharma-chemicals, electrical machinery, wholesale, and retail, as well as air transport.

While many of Brexit’s economic impacts will not emerge until after the UK’s exit, Brexit’s contribution to sterling’s devaluation and heightened volatility is already creating challenges for exporters,” the report states. “And while Irish importers may have benefited from currency fluctuations to date, their future exposure is significant.

This year’s report also includes two new risks — an overheating in the economy and the impact of social media on public debate. The risks relate to the lack of oversight of both social media users and emerging concerns around the accessing and use of personal data by third parties.

The spreading of misinformation, or so-called ‘fake news’, is also discussed. It says there is a potential for an increasing “sense of isolation and exclusion” for those who may not have the necessary resources or skills to access social media and services delivered online.

A section on the economy reflects the risk of growth rates continuing on their present trajectory and the economy potentially approaching its capacity limits, with factors including the under-supply of housing and risks to our competitiveness, as well as a tightening of the labour market, and infrastructural constraints.

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