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Leading economist says Limerick people in for a shock post-Brexit

A LEADING economist is warning of the implications of Brexit on
Limerick.

The Associate Professor of Economics at University of Limerick, Stephen Kinsella, said Brexit will disrupt life in the Mid West in several different ways, including job creation for graduates.

“We’re kind of sad when our graduates leave, but we recognise a lot of them leave to go to better opportunities in the UK. When things are better for them, and they have those skills, they bring them back,” he explained.

“The UK has always been a really good place for people to upskill, and that may be more difficult for people to do after Brexit. Not because they can’t travel, but because they will have such a shock to their industries, which won’t be hiring anymore.”

He continued to explain that terms of trade, the ratio of export prices to import prices, will also change: “A vast terms of trade shock with all these kinds of weird un-quantifiable problems immediately says to me that Brexit, in any of its forms, is a big negative for Limerick, because of the resources it will absorb that we otherwise would have gotten for our industries we have around us.”

Brexit will have a large impact on transport and manufacturing, he added: “It’s particularly a shock for things like canned food, where we export 98 per cent of processed meats to the UK. So, any sector like that is in really deep trouble. That’s in the event of a soft Brexit, never mind a hard one.”

Stephen believes Limerick city can also be indirectly impacted by Brexit’s affects on the national agricultural sector.

“Brexit will be a shock to places like east Cork, places that have large amounts of agriculture, everywhere around the border – Cavan, Monaghan, those areas are far more deeply affected than somewhere like Limerick city,” he explained.

“But, it’s really important when we think of these things that we realise
bailing out Cavan, Monaghan and east Cork will always mean less resources for Limerick.”

Despite these fears, Stephen’s hope is that we could just avoid it all.

“I think at a certain point, European policymakers will become so fatigued that they will simply say to the UK: ‘Do you know what? Best of luck.’”

Limerick Voice 2019 newspaper is available today in all copies of the Limerick Leader.

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