Ireland Inc can come out of this crisis stronger. It is crucial that we now act in our own self interest to secure our vital trade links with Britain worth over €1 billion per week in exports and attract the multinationals who now seem committed to leaving the UK.

The heads of major firms like JP Morgan and RBS had warned that they will shift their UK bases elsewhere if the UK is no longer part of the European common market for goods and services. Dublin’s financial services centre is among those that would be hoping to benefit. The IDA has been planning in advance of the Brexit referendum for just that reason.

Morgan Stanley is in the process of transferring 2,000 jobs from London to either Dublin or Frankfurt. The bank has denied this move. But with other major financial institutions already drawing up similar plans it seems inevitable that there will be some net gain here.

Our corporation tax of 12.5% is a key component. Britain was a strong ally in Ireland retaining this. We will come under renewed pressure as Brussels is seeking tax harmonisation across the EU. Any increase would impact negatively on Ireland attracting foreign direct investment.
The government must also act to ensure we retain our special deal with Britain to ensure that Irish people can continue to travel and work in the UK without a visa.

Britain is the EU’s biggest recipient of foreign direct investment. It receives €35 billion per year. In contrast, Ireland receives around €5 billion. Even if a fraction of Britain’s investment was to move to Ireland this would have a major positive impact here as our economy and society is about 15 times smaller than Britain’s.

Northern Ireland appears to be the biggest loser’s here, they voted unanimously to remain within the EU, realising the major positive impact EU funding has on the agricultural sector. The NI executive had set a date of April 2018 for the matching of corporation tax rates with the Republic.

With this tax harmonisation across the Island now off the table, and the NI economy likely to suffer further, will this further strengthen the case for a referendum on a united Ireland?