Worst-case scenario Brexit deal could cost Irish economy €18bn, report finds

Heather Humphreys says the Government is making efforts to mitigate the damage, but there are risks

Worst-case scenario Brexit deal could cost Irish economy €18bn, report finds

Heather Humphreys. Photo: RollingNews.ie

A worst-case scenario Brexit deal could cost the Irish economy €18 billion, according to an independent report.

The report was commissioned by the Government, and was considered by the Cabinet this morning.

It stated Brexit will have a negative impact on Ireland in all scenarios, even with a soft exit.

The study, which has been published today, found that Britain's exit from the EU could have an impact on people's wages, and risks possible job losses in key sectors.

The report - carried out by Copenhagen Economics - highlights that agri-food, pharma-chemicals, electrical machinery, wholesale & retail and air transport will be the sectors most impacted by Brexit.

However, the report was done under the premise no government action will be taken to counter the risk.

It acknowledges that government intervention - through measures such as trade promotion policies - could mitigate the damage to the economy.

Business Minister Heather Humphreys says they are already making efforts to mitigate the damage, but there are risks.

She observed: "If growth isn't as projected [...] there may be some slight divergence in wages. Nevertheless, I don't see that as a big issue.

"It is in the report that there could be possible job losses in the most vulnerable sectors."

She added: “Without a doubt, the study underlines the importance of a satisfactory transition period and exit deal." 

Additional reporting by Stephen McNeice