Five sectors bear 90% of the burden of Brexit according to new study

A major report on the potential implications of Brexit for Ireland was published last week. The study, ‘Ireland and the Impacts of Brexit’, was carried out by Copenhagen Economics on behalf of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Small Firms Association Assistant Director, Linda Barry, fed into the report on behalf of SFA members.


The study quantifies the impact of Brexit on Ireland under four scenarios and assumes no policy response from the Irish Government. The Irish economy is not forecast to contract under any of the scenarios, but rather the study predicts a lower growth rate than would otherwise be expected over the long term. The best case scenario (EEA) would see GDP growth reduced by 2.8% by 2030 and the worst case scenario (WTO) would see growth reduced by 7% by 2030.


The study analyses the implications for 24 sectors of the Irish economy. Five sectors were found to account for 90% of the impact – agri-food, pharma-chemicals, electrical machinery, wholesale and retail, and air transport. Non-tariff barriers, specifically regulatory divergence, is the main factor driving the results.


The study was considered by the Cabinet on 13 February. Minister Heather Humphries stated after the discussion: “The information will help to inform our negotiating position, together with our ongoing domestic response to Brexit…Without a doubt, the study underlines the importance of a satisfactory transition period and exit deal.”


The full report can be downloaded here.


The press release from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is available here.


The SFA’s Brexit toolkit for small businesses is available on the SFA website here.    

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