February 22, 2016

We will do just fine if there’s a Brexit

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 76 comments ·
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The Irish bureaucratic establishment has been warning that Brexit would be a disaster for Ireland. The Taoiseach has intervened, saying he hopes that Britain remains in the EU.

Irish ambassadors have been explaining why Brexit would be catastrophic for Irish business. The working assumption in bureaucratic circles appears to be that leaving the EU would be bad for the British economy and even worse for us.

In Ireland, the British debate is being presented as a battle between the head and the heart. The beating heart of England, with Anglo-Saxon blood flowing through it, is being painted as nationalistic, atavistic and backward. Little Englanders want to take England back to a dark period of splendid isolation.

When seen from the standpoint of the Irish bureaucratic elite, who have been exposed to the sophistication of Brussels for the past half century, these English/British nationalists are seen as politically backward, offensive and not plugged into the realities of the global economy.

Bureaucratic Ireland sees English nationalism as isolationist, backwards and passé, while the same Irish bureaucratic elite is embarking on a national jamboree celebrating the victory of similarly isolationist, inward-looking and ethnically divisive Irish nationalism.

The basic idea we are being sold is that our nationalists were and are enlightened, but their nationalists were and are stupid. In terms of the economic parameters of the debate, the Out side are seen to be emotional and, economically, couldn’t be trusted with a sweetshop. Contrast this with the In side in Britain, who are portrayed as sensible, measured and financially literate.

The truth is quite different. There is no evidence that an Out vote will spell economic disaster for Britain at all. And if Britain doesn’t suffer economically, there’s no reason to worry about the impact here.

Yes, Britain is our largest trading partner, but you know what trading partners do? They trade. This won’t stop. So the €1 billion in trade a week between Ireland and Britain will continue in the event of a Brexit.

At this stage, let us look at what the likely impact of Brexit will be on the British economy.

This week, the excellent British fund management company Woodford Funds published a comprehensive economic report on Brexit which was undertaken by Capital Economics, an independent economic consultancy.

They found that both the Out and the In side were overstating their claims and that in reality the impact on Britain’s GDP would be modest.

There are a number of significant things that will change. The main one is immigration.

Since 2004, annual net migration from the European Union rose to significant levels of around 100,000 people per annum since the Eastern European countries joined the EU. It has more than doubled since 2012, reaching 183,000 in March 2015.

This is a major issue for Britain, and it is reasonable to suggest that low-skilled immigration will be reduced substantially after Brexit.

In contrast, a system attracting higher-skilled immigrants à la Canada or Australia will be instituted.

This will raise low-skilled wages in Britain and reduce profitability of companies operating in agriculture and hospitality, but raise productivity in higher-skilled industries.

There is absolutely no way that Irish migrants to Britain will be affected, as an open border between both our countries has survived intact, even at the height of the Troubles. This won’t change.

In terms of trade, 45 per cent of all British trade is with the EU. Given that total exports account for 30.5 per cent of British output, this means that the value of all goods and services exported to the European Union are equal to 15 per cent of the British economy. And 18 per cent of all EU exports go to Britain.

No one has any interest in this stopping. The Germans simply sell too many cars in England for this to end. The chances of a trade deal even after Brexit are very high unless political vindictiveness overshadows commercial common sense. Hostile trade relations are in no one’s interest.

In terms of direct foreign investment, 44 per cent of all investment into Britain comes from the EU and 28 per cent of all investment into the EU comes from Britain. This shows how interdependent the economies are.

Initially, investment flows may be affected, but once the currencies settle down, there’s no reason to believe that investment flows will change.

The Out side claims that less red tape will make Britain a better place to invest, while the In side says the uncertainty associated with the new regime will slow investment. The reality lies somewhere in the middle – swings and roundabouts.

For Ireland, a possible problem would be if a more independent Britain competed more aggressively tax-wise for direct foreign investment.

This would be a problem for us. However, it is possible that remaining in the EU would be seen as an advantage – but that would only be marginal as long as competitiveness wasn’t an issue.

This brings us to sterling. There is little doubt that sterling would fall swiftly after Brexit because there may be worries about Britain’s large current account deficit and how it might be financed. But again this will be modest and not permanent.

Next up, the financial markets. Leaving the European Union could lose Britain its “passporting rights’. These allow British-based institutions to sell into the rest of the European Union without having a branch there.

This could be a big opportunity for the grubby business in Ireland of “brass-plating’ because big banks in the City would have to move certain functions to places like Dublin to be able to trade in the EU.

The short-term loss of some banking business would bring down house prices a bit in London and, in contrast, this could push up prices in Dublin.

There is lots of talk about a new border with the North – this is nonsense and doesn’t stand up to a jot of common sense analysis. First of all, who will erect it? We both opted out of Schengen and so we’ll just stay out of it and we’ll carry on as before.

If Brexit happens, it won’t make a huge difference. Once Britain’s economy is doing okay, we will too. Indeed, financial services might expand in Dublin and so too might foreign investment flows.

There is too much at stake between Britain and the EU to make a period of economic hostility after Brexit likely. However, if Britain begins to fracture thereafter, all bets are off. Why don’t we come back to that next week?


  1. Colm MacDonncha

    Well, if the Bureaucratic Establishment and the old guard of Fine Fail and Lie bore think it’s a bad idea I say Bring it On…

    • Deco

      We simply cannot take the three guardians of subservience to Brussels seriously.

      Their “green jersey” patriotism includes such puke inducing moments as Gilmore grovelling before Tom Cruise, and Kenny being Merkel’s goldfish.

      Their biggest fear – that somebody might declare that the EU Empire project has no common sense, let alone common purpose.

  2. JK

    Much ado about nothing. There are a lot of terrified vested interests spouting messages of fear. Get used to it.
    Ireland needs strong leadership now more than ever.

    Who can offer that?

  3. JK

    Sterling will be at its lowest when the hype around the Out vote is at it highest BEFORE the referendum takes place. Either way I think it will recover after the vote.

  4. NeilW

    “The chances of a trade deal even after Brexit are very high unless political vindictiveness overshadows commercial common sense. Hostile trade relations are in no one’s interest.”

    Unfortunately political vindictiveness does overshadow common sense in the EU. Look at the treatment of Greece for the classic example.

    So there may be a push towards raising trade barriers to ‘punish’ the recalcitrant UK. Which of course the UK would respond to in kind – but with a government freed from the tyranny of the EU treaty would be able to use state power to offset any impact. Something that would not be available to the governments of EU nations – particularly Ireland.

    If the madness ever got traction you are staring down the barrel of a trade war that would mirror the Anglo-Irish trade war of the 1930s. Therefore it would be wise for the Irish to put in place politicians who are prepared to use the Irish veto to ensue that political vindictiveness is quashed early.

    • Deco

      Agreed.

      We need politicians with both a brain and a backbone.

      Instead, we have the characters from the Wizard of Oz, merrily leading us to a wizard in the ECB who has no clue what he is doing, and is frequently incompetent.

  5. NeilW

    “For Ireland, a possible problem would be if a more independent Britain competed more aggressively tax-wise for direct foreign investment.”

    A nation with in independent sovereign free-floating currency doesn’t need ‘foreign’ investment. There is no such thing within a currency zone. Foreigners have to get Sterling to invest in the UK. So if they have to get it, then the UK government can get it just as easily and from the same place – the banks. Primarily the central bank.

    “There is little doubt that sterling would fall swiftly after Brexit because there may be worries about Britain’s large current account deficit and how it might be financed”

    The current account deficit is financed by the capital account surplus. For one to exist so has the other. The question, as usual for NK economists, is the wrong one. The question is where are the exporters to the UK going to sell their stuff if not in the UK?

  6. goldbug

    @DAVID “WE WILL DO JUST FINE”

    DONT BE TOO SURE

    A NATION WITHOUT NATIONALISM IS NOT A NATION

    “IF” THE UK LEAVE

    -> IRELAND WILL BE SQUEEZED

    => GOODBYE IRISH TAX RATE

    => HELLO GERMAN SURPLUS MIGRANTS

    => HELLO FEDERAL TAXES

    IRELAND FOLLOWED THE UK IN

    -> NOT FROM WEAKNESS?!

    -> THE UK WAS CORRECT!

    -> IN THE INTEREST OF THE NATION

    -> THE EEC WAS WORTH A SHOT

    “SOME” IN THE UK

    -> SEE “WRITING ON THE WALL”

    -> GIVE THEM CREDIT.

    -> IN THE INTEREST OF THEIR NATION

    -> THEY ARE “JUST” CORRECT AGAIN.

  7. Original-Ed

    For us, what effect will it have on road transport to and from Europe. Will Britain continue to allow its roads be used as part of a European Network and who will pay for their upkeep. They did place a blockade on the movement our trucks not too long ago. We are very vulnerable to the whims of an anti-irish element there without oversight from Brussels – look at the DUP up north and their OUT stance – what’s that about?
    Should we start to invest in shipping and buy back Aer Lingus ?

  8. Deco

    I find it insightful that the same Irish politicians that are alarmed by the possibility of Brexit, have nothing to say about the overvalued Stock indices, and related ongoing instability – and the fact that Irish economy has become highly leveraged to the Nasdaq.

  9. Antaine

    Subscribe :-)

  10. Pat Flannery

    Personally I fervently hope for an “Out” vote because Brexit will not only mean an exit from the European Union but an exit from Ireland.

    It will be impossible for a London Government to hold the United Kingdom together after a Brexit. Within months Scotland will organize its own vote to stay in Europe. Northern Ireland, albeit reluctantly and probably bitterly, will have to swallow its inbred prejudices and vote for economic survival by joining a thriving United Irish Republic with its capital Dublin fast becoming the Singapore of the West.

    Brexit will mean that Boris Johnston’s London will have voted itself into oblivion just about the time the Queen Elizabeth II era fades into history. Isolated Britons will spend the next few centuries wallowing in wistful nostalgia about the glories of the Second Elizabethan Era, as they did with the Victorian Era, while a United Ireland enters a New Age on the world stage.

    Boris will be the first Prime Minister of the Kingdom of England and Wales. He will receive his Seal of Office from King Charles III and his Consort, Duchess Camilla. Jolly good show Boris you will save Britain from contamination by the rest of the world and Ireland thanks you.

    • Original-Ed

      There’s no question of Hope here – it’s a done deal. Immigration is the issue – England can’t take any more – it’s over crowded. Angela doing a solo run without by your leave from the rest of the EU was the final straw. Also, the descendants of those from former colonies will opt for out as they want to strengthen trade links with their cousins.
      As for the North – the poison is far too embedded there for any movement towards unity and if Scotland goes out on its own, they’ll have a greater leverage over London.

    • Deco

      [
      Northern Ireland, albeit reluctantly and probably bitterly, will have to swallow its inbred prejudices and vote for economic survival by joining a thriving United Irish Republic with its capital Dublin fast becoming the Singapore of the West.
      ]

      Have a look at Ireland’s debt figures.

      The way that the Irish institutional states operates (Money in, Excuses out), we are a long way from the Singaporean level of efficiency and transparency.

      Unification is impossible, because the state system is inadequate at it’s current responsibilities, let alone extra responsibilities.

      It is too incompetent. And in the last two decades it has grown even more incompetent.

  11. Deco

    100 years on from the 1916 Rising (an attempt to get out of an imperial sovereignty pooling arrangement ), Ireland’s political parties are desperate to prove their loyalty (in an almost Redmonite manner) to the current imperial sovereignty pooling arrangement.

    The paradox of the situation is considerable.

    I consider the novel “The Dead” by Joyce, a fascinating insight into the mores of the Irish ruling class, and what defines authority in Ireland, is terms of social mores.

    They really are in their own world. And the real world is an abstraction. It is as distant as a memory in a woman’s heart. They simply cannot connect with it. They are cut adrift from life itself in a world of frivial concerns, superficialities, and the entire “good room” approach.

    There is a massive emphasis on control of thought.

    Winston Churchill once stated “we shape our houses, and they shape us”.

    Well, this is what the EU is about, and now it is shaping repeated failure, and considerable hubris. The Greek debacle should have been a serious warning. Instead it was fudged, and now Portugal is following the same road. The Irish banking mess, and the Spanish real estate ulcer should also have provided a serious warning. But, now Sweden is speeding towards the same disaster and making it even worse.

    What the EU is shaping more than anything else is failure. And in response to the dismay of the populace, there is a series of condescending platitudes.

    The Treaty of Maastricht has ushered in an era of perenially high unemployment, demographic decline, state sector largesse, and subsidies for wealthy financial interests.

    Best of luck, Britain. You demanded EU reform, and achieved some token gestures. And that was about it. The EU will not allow anybody to get free of the EU. That is complete forbidden. Nobody is allowed break free of the policy monopoly. It is the Richelieu state concept in charge of a continent. Up yours, Delors. It bankrupted France. It drove Spain into a Civil War. And it created disasters in Ireland like peados being swept under the carpet, and the Anglo bailout. It does NOT work for the people.

    I wonder will the Scottish FF party (aka the SNP) repeated talk of the Norwegian example, in this debate like they did in the last one ? Like Irish FF they will adapt and find new ways to lie to people. The SNP want power, just like FF, and will make any promise to get it.

    • coldblow

      From Booker and North’s The Great Deception:

      ‘On 16 October 1961, Heath went to Brussels to make an opening statement on why Britain now wished to join the Common Market, and three weeks later, on 8 November, the formal negotiations for British entry began.

      ‘A common misunderstanding about the ‘negotiations’ that take place when a new nation joins the European Community is that the applicant country may seek to change the rules to suit its particular needs. But one of the most fundamental principles on which Monnet had established his ‘government of Europe’ was that once the supranational body has been granted a particular power or ‘competence’, this can never be returned. Power can only be handed by individual states to the supranational entity; never the other way round. Once those powers or ‘competencies’ are ceded, either by treaty or by passing laws over a particular area of policy, they constitute the Community’s most sacred possession: the so-called ‘acquis communautaire’. This represents the sum of the treaties and accumulated laws which have been ‘acquired’ over the years as the Community’s ‘inaliable possession’. the whole point of the ‘aquis’ is that it is non-negotiable.

      ‘All that accession countries can achieve, therefore, are temporary ‘derogations’ or transitional concessions, designed to make it easier for those countries to adjust to the requirements of the ‘acquis’, with which they will eventually have to comply in full…

      ‘Already, when announcing his decision to apply for entry back in July, Macmillan had pledged to the House of Commons that Britain would only join if satisfactory arrangements could be made to meet the special needs of the United Kingdom, of the Commonwealth and of the European Free Trade Association.’

      • coldblow

        The Water Directive (and much besides) can be derogated but eventually we ‘will have to comply in full.’

        • McCawber

          The fact we needed a directive to sort out something we should have done ourselves is surely the real issue of concern.

          • coldblow

            It’s *another* issue of concern, perhaps the main one even, but Europe certainly isn’t the answer and Irish Water even less. I don’t accept the argument that is often advanced that we wouldn’t do this or that but for Europe.

  12. Harve

    Hi David,

    I’m inclined to disagree with you on this one. I agree that some of the Pro-EU lobby are claiming that the sky will fall after a Brexit which I don’t think will be the case. However, I also think that the risks surrounding Brexit outweigh the potential benefits.

    The following link from the UK’s CBI provides an interesting overview of the studies that have been undertaken on Brexit and they tend to show that being a part of the EU adds about 4-5% to the UK’s GDP. If a Brexit does take place, I think it will lead to a recession in the UK due to the uncertainties involved.

    http://news.cbi.org.uk/business-issues/uk-and-the-european-union/eu-business-facts/cbi-literature-review-of-the-impact-of-eu-membership-on-the-uk-economy-pdf/

    Whilst trade will continue after Brexit between the UK, Ireland and the EU it will not be as free-flowing as before due to customs checks, transition times etc. which will increase the costs of trade. That will mean increased prices on imports into Ireland and Ireland’s exports will become more costly to export, when transiting via the UK.

    In terms of Northern Ireland, I do not agree that the talk of border issues is nonsense. If one is travelling in Croatia and is going from Split to Dubrovnik, one briefly passes through Bosnia and there is a passport check on the Border. I think the situation is the same when passing from EU to non-EU countries for all states outside of Schengen (note that Switzerland and Norway are both in Schengen). If a border is not established, Ireland would be a backdoor for migrants into the UK if they travel via Northern Ireland? So the UK might have an interest in re-erecting a border in that context. Plus I think that the EU will also insist on it as well to minimise UK products getting into the EU via Ireland without the proper checks. Then you have the political issues which will arise in terms of the North and I don’t think that anyone can say with certainty that a Brexit will not cause any issues there. We simply don’t know enough yet about what the terms of a Brexit would be.

    As I said above, I still think that the risks concerning Brexit outweigh the potential benefits.

    • Original-Ed

      There will have to be a controlled border between north and south and, as to what will happen to our common travel arrangement will be interesting. It’ll probably go back to what pertained during the troubles – checks at ports/airports and border crossings.
      Shipping to and fro will be a pain in the a— as it was before 1992. Having to employ a customs clearance agent, vat at point of entry – all of which costs time and money.
      When I was a boy, I was sent down to the customs house by my employer – a very large one at that point in time – to clear a shipment coming from Britain. It was holiday time and our own customs clearance people were away – You wouldn’t believe it, but this customs official asked me to write an essay as who my employer was before he would accept the application. Power tripping at its worst.

  13. coldblow

    Here is Hitchens’s thinking about ‘Boris’ Johnson’s decision to join the ‘No’ camp, and Michael Gove’s:

    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/02/what-did-they-mean-by-that-the-gove-johnson-riddle.html

    I was surprised myself by both men’s decisions, particularly Johnson’s. Remember David’s article where he shared a ski lift with him in Switzerland? I assumed Johnson was not sincere but merely positioning himself for a bid at power, and Hitchens thinks likewise.

    Cameron’s ‘renegotiation’ should be viewed in the light of the quote from Booker and North (above) about 1961.

  14. It was always a mistake for Britain to join the ECU. Fortunately they did not join the Euro.

    Free trade or such is ok (exchange of surplus product to others willing to pay or exchange). Political union is bad (dominance of distant bureaucrats and a surplus of regulation plus loss of individual and national sovereignty). Monetary union is suicide ( the complete abandonment of national sovereignty and personal sovereignty too).

    The above applies to all peoples.

    But then again all people would be better off economically and socially without the dominance of the central banking system of debt based money. This topic is studiously ignored while it is fundamental to the worlds problems. It funds the military industrial complex to produce the warfare states of NATO who have bombed several state to oblivion. It funds the petro dollar and the destruction of the middle east. It funds the excesses of government and enables the deficit financing and national debts. It is the cause of the insolvency of national states, Provinces, regions, municipalities, cities, corporations, banks and individuals.

    It allows the dominance of the major corporations to take over the world production of agriculture and the use of herbicides that are poisons to people as well as plants, which destroy the fertility of the soil and the predominance of GM foods.

    Finally it allows the constant depreciation of currencies world wide in a race to the bottom called currency wars. It does not rally matter where one lives as the great reset is already started.

    The wealth and savings of the many will be wiped out and handed to the few. If you think it difficult to maintain a standard of living, down 50% in the last 45 years then you have seen nothing yet. The current migrations are simply a foretaste of the times approaching.

    In the meantime we carry on with the interminable debates of the more petty problems so that we shuffle looking at out feet rather than raising our eyes to the horizon to get the full picture. A mariner cannot forecast the weather just staring at the waves on the seashore. He can only see what is. There must be a study of all those thing seen in the sky and the observation of the actions of all things.

    We need to see the real cause of our problems and the least of which are local corrupted politicians. They are but a symptom not the cause of the decay. Our lack of foresight allows the ridiculing of good men and women who have attempted to right some of these wrongs, both in the political arena and without.

  15. soil and the predominance should tread
    soil and allows the predominance…

  16. mike flannelly

    Adam
    Read the article and comments.
    The French Health System caught my eye.

    In France they have 9.4 nurses per 1000 population servicing 6.37 beds.

    In Ireland WE have 12.4 nurses per 1000 population servicing 2.8 beds.

    Ireland have “50% MORE” nurses than the UK servicing the same amount of beds (2.8 beds). They say that the NHS is a better health care system for the patient/customer.

    Ireland have
    “ONLY 32% MORE ” nurses than FRANCE.

    “HOWEVER”

    French nurses are servicing “128 %” more beds than our IRISH MOTHER THERESA NURSES.
    And providing a far better health service into the bargin.

    Clare Byrne is on TV at the moment talking in circles about our FAILED HEALTH SYSTEM. These metrics are NOT BEING ME MENTIONED.

    Irelands Journalists, Politicians and Economists NEVER LOOK AT THE CORE METRICS on health, housing, rent and of course most of all our banking system and REAL DEBT VALUES.

    This is a COWARDLY political choice.

    DONT ROCK THE BOAT.

    • Original-Ed

      Neither is it sunshine there if you have to visit a optician.
      The most expensive in the world – they consider spectacles/glasses to be nothing more than pure bling.

    • Pedro Nunez

      But Liam Doran tells you the solution to the A&E people on trollies is more nurses!

      • McCawber

        Lism Doran has a vested interest.
        The stats already show his answer is the wrong one.
        It all comes back to abuse of the system.

        • oe1

          The current health system is very wasteful.

          One of the issues within the HSE is early promotion of nurses into management. Many nurses in their 20′s are promoted in this position, presumably after working hard it has to be said, motivated by the obvious benefits. Once there, they are no longer front line staff and have significantly improved benefits. And become a greater cost on the system.

          Why shouldn’t management roles should be restricted to staff with extensive experience of say 15 years experience.

          • Pedro Nunez

            Amen, its great if you have experienced nurses who can make decisions, but ultimately you need highly experienced clinicians who can assess and treat folk rapidly, efficiently and effectively. ‘Throwing more nurses at the problem’ only keep Doran in >€200k job, more than the Taoiseach.

          • McCawber

            Bertie is responsible for the decision to create an unneeded promotion structure for nurses.
            He bought them off as Bertie the Fixer.

  17. CitizenWhy

    If there is a Brexit (soon or later), and the price of pounds sterling fall, buy them. Easy mopmeny to be made for the patient.

    The break-up of the Euro Zone is inevitable. One, two or three well structured European unons make sense, but the current structure is unworkable, with the Euro the main problem. If Britain goes, then someone will soon be next? Who? France? Spain?

    As this article points out, it would probably be shrewd of Ireland to stay in, mainly as a place for British companies to have an office in the EU or whatever replaces it. Otherwise being ruled by imperial Germany is a bad deal for Ireland.

  18. mike flannelly

    Two EXTRA DAYS HOLIDAYS for Irish nurses and lots more nurses are the solutions for our fecked up health care system.

    We are a nation of doormat cowards.
    Golden pensions for the people that run the system.
    Sick children have to beg for charity.

    We have no self respect.

  19. mike flannelly

    Clare Byrne prog on health over now. Journalists spoke and then Clare announced that the health problems will not be solved tonight either.

    In all fairness,
    It is like living in STEPFORD when it comes to looking for solutions to problems in Ireland. Economic problems with our health care system and banks are just too political.
    Economists should be above politics when it comes to offering SOLUTIONS to REAL VALUE health budgets and IRISH BANK DEBT.

    Watching Irish 2016 economists in action regarding our present economic problems in health, homelessness and banking is like watching at a gom heart specialist looking up your arse for solutions.

    ABSOLUTELY NO HELP.

  20. Brexit is incidental in the overall scheme of things while central bankers run the show. Where is the politician, journalist, economist or writer proclaiming this truth? They are few, and far between.
    Whether it be the ECB, the FED, Or anyone of a hundred odd central banks they are conniving together to deceive, mislead and ruin the citizens of the very countries they swear to protect from what? Inflation . Inflation created at every turn by those self same bankers. Why 2% inflation is better than 4% or a .5% or negative they do not explain. Why is deflation bad and inflation good. Well it is good for the bankers.

    But we have reached debt suffocation. QE 4.5.6 or infinity makes matters worse and worse. The central banking model of money management is dead. The rigour mortice is yet to be beholden. It will be a nasty surprise to most as the MSM has gone along with the scam through indifference, belief in the system or connivance with the power brokers. Elections are a sham. Democracy is over ruled at every opportunity. Honest men dare not print the truth or express it.

    Here is what David Stockman has to say as he has nothing to lose as I read somewhere he has not long to go.

    http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2016/02/silver-linings-keynesian-central-banking-heading-massive-repudiation/

  21. StephenKenny

    If you’re in need of a very interesting read, I recommend Matt Taibbi’s most recent book: ‘The Divide’.

    If you have even a spark of humanity in you, you’ll start eyeing your pitchfork.

  22. barrym

    I am amazed not to say horrified that David who resided in “Europe” for quite a while, does not consider that Brexit is (also) an opportunity to open ourselves into the rest of Europe. There are many more market opportunities in oher parts of Europe apart from Britain.

    Maybe we are still under the yoke, even after 100 years??

  23. Pat Flannery

    Well said barrym. Thank you for that.

    • Pedro Nunez

      Wait till you are under ‘Das Boot’, the Germans (apart from the Belgians) were the worst imperialists

      • StephenKenny

        I’m sure you’re right. I’m sure that Pat wouldn’t like to be under a German boat. It sounds very uncomfortable, although good when it rains. :-)

        • Pedro Nunez

          I’m sure you’re right that; ‘The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror’ “is good when it rains” [sic].

  24. Mike Lucey

    Should Ireland decide to also leave the EU there could be a huge bonus.

    We would be leaving with a lot more territory than we joined with.

    Maybe then the country would recognise and utilise the vast potential of this resource and generate 200,000 direct and indirect jobs along with a sustainable industry.

    I doubt very much we would have been able to extend our territorial waters if we had not joined the then EC.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland-can-extend-territorial-waters-1.805436

  25. McCawber

    Average insurance paid by a surgeon in Ireland is €250000.
    It’s the litigious people stupid.

  26. http://www.jsmineset.com/

    Some interesting observations and discussion of world and US economies and the result of the lies and corruption causing and designed to enable war.
    There are few green shoots to be seen.

  27. Pedro Nunez

    Maybe completely out of touch here (perhaps Marie-Antoinette like ‘let them eat cake’), but thought it was about ‘teaching folk how to fish’, to institute the ’6 killer apps’ of prosperity (as Niall Ferguson calls it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpnFeyMGUs8), not bringing folk to Europe to ‘give them fish for a day’, to live on social welfare in Northern inclimates in a perennial dystopian dislocation from their natural climate, culture and citizenship in their own countries.
    Where is this going, is every country supposed to be the same, will there be any point in travelling abroad any more?

    Are the ‘Warriors of Fál’ going to be prematurely forgiven and given the ‘keys of the car’ to wreck it again b4 demonstrating proper responsibility?

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