Ireland could take €3bn Brexit hit, warns Michael Noonan

The Finance Minister says we can forget tax cuts and extra spending if 'Leave' prevails tomorrow...

michael, noonan, limerick, city, breakfast, shona murray

Michael Noonan. Image: RollingNews.ie

The Department of Finance estimates that the UK leaving the EU could cost Ireland between €2.5bn and €3bn over the next two years.

The estimates in the event of a Brexit would cancel out – and more – the €2.2bn of "fiscal space" the Irish Government has forecast should be available for cutting taxes and increasing spending in 2017 and 2018.

The potential loss was discerned from analyses compiled by a British government think tank and the UK Treasury.

Despite the findings, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has moved to ease concerns by stating that the reduction in growth would be "containable".

In the shorter term, Noonan has signalled that he expects €1bn will be available for increased spending and tax cuts in Budget 2017.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has criticised the lack of a 'Plan B' in the event of a Brexit.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has countered that he did not want to set out a strategy that would suggest Ireland believes Britain will vote to leave.