Hard Brexit could swell Irish living costs

The independent Economic and Social Research Institute said that in the case of a so-called hard Brexit, the cost of living would increase by between 892 and 1,360 euros ($1,095 and $1,670) annually per household.

Hard Brexit could swell Irish living costs

World Bulletin / News Desk

Britain leaving the European Union without a trade deal could ramp up living costs in neighbouring Ireland by between two and 3.1 percent, according to a study released Wednesday.

The study was conducted for Ireland's Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

The report highlights Ireland's dependence on imports from Britain -- 28 percent of imports to Ireland come from the UK -- with significant price rises likely if London and Brussels cannot strike a trade and customs deal.

The study found that if tariffs were introduced and other trade costs also increase following a hard Brexit, the price of bread and cereals could rise by up to 30 percent, while milk, cheese and eggs prices could increase by 46 percent.

"As Ireland imports a considerable amount of food products from the UK, a hard Brexit could have an immediate impact on the cost of living," said Martina Lawless, one of the report's authors.

"Unfortunately, we find that this impact would likely fall disproportionately on lower-income households," due to food taking up a bigger slice of their annual spending.

The report acknowledged that the estimates did not take into account potential switching of products or changing of expenditure patterns.

Britain is due to leave the European Union in March 2019, with a transition period set to last until the end of 2020.

The EU insists that any divorce deal must ensure there is no "hard border" between Ireland and Northern Ireland, saying it could compromise the 1998 peace accord in the British province.

Since Britain's 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU, Ireland has regularly published studies on the impact of Brexit on the Irish economy.

Ireland wants Britain to remain close to the bloc in order to limit any negative effects from the divorce.

Last Mod: 21 Mart 2018, 18:24
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