Risk of British exit from EU underlined in report

One of the key risks to Ireland is the prospect of Britain holding a referendum on exiting the European Union, a draft report from the Department of the Taoiseach has found.

The Cabinet yesterday discussed the repercussions for Ireland from Britain’s shock general election over the weekend and the Conservatives’ outright win.

Financial and non-financial risks for Ireland have been identified in a National Risk Assessment report, a draft of which is expected to be published this week.

It refers to future risks including the expectations of the public and workers on what should be invested back into the economy and public services with the recovery. Developments in the property market are also identified as an area where there could be risks and the need for intervention.

However, the report will also highlight how British prime minister David Cameron’s promised vote on EU membership is one of the top risks for Ireland’s future.

Last year’s risk report concluded that a British exit could introduce “profound uncertainty into Anglo-Irish relations”. A referendum is now firmly on the cards after the weekend elections.

The Cabinet discussed the draft report yesterday as well as lash week’s majority Tory win. Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan updated the Cabinet.

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