Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Committee on Budgetary Oversight

ESRI Report on Ireland and Brexit: Discussion

2:00 pm

Photo of Tommy BroughanTommy Broughan (Dublin Bay North, Independent)
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The highlight we took from Dr. Bergin's presentation is the fact that there will be a severe impact on households. In employment terms and in terms of higher prices and so on across the board, households will really struggle. Does that make the case that we possibly need the support of the European Union and that we should look for more significant social transfers and other supports to try to help families? Obviously households, especially those where no one is working, will be in the most vulnerable situation. That is the first point.

Are the ESRI representatives being too sanguine about all of this? As we seem to get closer to Brexit - we could still be talking about Friday - the forecasts seem to be getting scarier. Does the ESRI COSMO model include different inputs as we get closer? For example, we all noted the possibility of the euro and sterling moving to parity and the impact that would have on tourism and our agriculture industry. Is it the case that as we get closer and begin to realise the profound implications, especially if we do not get the supports we need from the European Union, that things are getting more uncertain? Is it possible to input those issues into the model the ESRI is using?

The ESRI representatives said there are no comparable models. If we go back a little further are there not models? I am unsure whether any research has been done. It may be more a matter for our historian colleagues rather than the economists. What about when we left the British Empire? What about where states have severed, for example, the Czechs and the Slovaks? Is there anything in the literature about that or about where a state left a trading bloc and what the implications were?