A vote in favour of the UK leaving the European Union in June’s referendum would have far–reaching and damaging consequences for the economy of Ireland, the Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation (Ibec) warned in a report on Monday.
The report said that a Brexit would “remove a shared economic, political and legal backdrop and could set back positive political and economic developments of recent years”. Trade flows between the Republic and UK could fall by up to a fifth and there would be a “damaging economic effect” on investment.
Pat Ivory, Ibec director of EU and international affairs said: “Business is deeply concerned at recent polls that suggest the British vote on EU membership is too close to call. The size and economic scale of the UK means the stakes are very high, not just for the UK but for Ireland and the rest of Europe. The UK’s EU membership is of key strategic importance to Ireland and Irish business.
“A UK departure would be a blow to the Irish recovery and result in a protracted period of uncertainty for business. It would undermine Europe’s ability to act collectively and decisively in the world and could push the EU back into a dangerous period of crisis management. The UK and Ireland have been close allies in Europe across a wide range of areas. An EU without the UK would be a lesser Union.”