Please see below executive summary to Section 1 of the report “Brexit and the Future of Ireland”. Section 1 in full is available at the link
The terms of reference for the report for the Joint Committee on the Implementation of
the Good Friday Agreement included an analysis of the impact on Brexit on Northern
Ireland and what Ireland should seek to have in the final agreement between the EU
and the UK regarding Northern Ireland. It is clear from all the reports written on the
issue of Brexit that its effect on Northern Ireland will be significant. In February 2016
research commissioned by the UK Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
on the economic implications of a UK exit from the EU showed that Northern Ireland is
more vulnerable to Brexit that Britain. The loss to Northern Ireland of EU membership,
and funding will be significant, the subsequent effect on the economy and the potential
to destabilise the peace process is a central concern.
That is why the key recommendation of the report is that all current and future EU
programmes & funding, in the absence of alternative arrangements for Northern
Ireland, should continue to be supported by HM Treasury. Ireland believes that in
relation to BREXIT Northern Ireland is a special case and its Peace Process is worthy
of on-going support from the EU and Britain.
For this research paper we have included information on some of the EU programmes
that HM Treasury would have to continue funding. Member of the European Parliament
Brian Crowley provided information in relation to the EU Funding programmes 2014 –
This report looks at the difficulties of predicting the impact of BREXIT. To highlight
this challenge, we reproduce the divergence of estimates by various organisations
who tried to predict the impact of the World Trade Organisation rules being imposed
on the UK. The difficulty of predicting the impact of BREXIT on Northern Ireland is
further compounded by the lack of reliable data and accurate statistics for Northern
Ireland. Such a ‘data deficit’ needs to be addressed in order for the Irish Government to
produce a coherent long term policy in relation to Northern Ireland.
Congressman Brendan Boyle commissioned research from the United States House
of Representatives Congressional Research Service specifically for this report for
the Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. Congressman
Boyle’s report outlines the data deficit for Northern Ireland, in particular the difficulty in
accurately determining the actual income and the fiscal deficit in Northern Ireland. This
report also commissioned research on the rationalisation of the large public sector in
Northern Ireland, the findings of the Oireachtas Library and Research is included in
the appendix of this section. The Report on the All-Ireland Economy (Joint Oireachtas
Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation complied by Deputy Peadar Toibin TD)
is reproduced here in the appendix. We recommend that in the light of Brexit a second
report should be commissioned on the All Island Economy. We are conscious of the
recent hearings and report by the Committee Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation on Brexit.
We have reproduced some sections of reports from the Nevin Economic Research
Institute (NERI) and the OXFORD Economics which, despite the data deficit, have
attempted to analyse and highlight the potential impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland.
One key concern of the Irish Government and the Irish people is the return of the
border. It is feared that a ‘Hard BREXIT’ will mean a ‘Hard Border’. Again the lack of
accurate data is highlighted by the difficulty in terms of determining how many people
cross the border every day for work and study. Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has
made a submission to the committee on the return of the border between the North and
Former Irish Ambassador to Canada Ray Bassett’s submission on Irexit is included.
The solution to the problem of creating a border on the old partition lines between north
and south is for the border to be in the Irish Sea between the island of Ireland and
Britain as was the case from 1939 to 1952. This was highlighted in the House of Lords:
European Union Committee report entitled ‘Brexit :UK-Irish relations’ which we quote
and analyse. This report is available in full in the appendix to this chapter. The issue
around the common travel area is also examined.
The reports looks at a neglected topic on the BREXIT discussion, that being the effects
on women. For this report we commissioned a research paper from the Library and
Research Service of the House of the Oireachtas to give an overview of the responses
to BREXIT of the British and Irish governments and the legislature in each jurisdiction.
The Library and Research service of the Oireachtas were also commissioned to
provide an updated report on The Good Friday Agreement, the Peace Process and
the Institutions; the report provides a background on a range of issues which feature a
specific cross-border dimension. The theme of the paper was ‘the Impact of Brexit on
Cross border activities’
In compiling this section of the report we reproduced the findings of the Library &
Research Service of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
The briefing paper provided information on a range of topics;
Policing and Justice Finance and Funding
Business and Trade Agriculture
Labour Market and Skills Tourism Energy and Environment
The paper looked at the impact which ‘BREXIT’ may have on these and other issues
across Ireland. The range of impact on Ireland, both north and south, cannot properly be
assessed until such time as the terms of the withdrawal agreement from the EU are known.
Therefore it should be noted that the list of issues discussed here is not exhaustive.
The Irish government must negotiate for Northern Ireland to be designated with a
special status within the EU and for the whole island of Ireland to remain within the
All current and future EU programmes & funding for Northern Ireland, in the
absence of alternative arrangements for Northern Ireland, should continue to be
funded by HM Treasury.
The Report on the All-Ireland Economy: compiled in 2016 by Peadar Toibin TD for
the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in the light of
Brexit should be updated.
Any passport controls between Ireland and the UK should be along the same basis
as for people traveling between these islands from 1939 to 1952. There should not be
a return to passport controls on the borders between the North and South of Ireland.
A detailed analysis of the impact of Brexit on Women, programmes to mitigate these
impacts should be implemented
Research into the actual income and expenditure for Northern Ireland should be
carried out by the Government.