It is too early to assess what impact, if any, Brexit will have on Ireland’s Budget 2017 due to be introduced in mid-October, according to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath.
Deputy McGrath has called on the government to spend the next two months reassessing the Summer Economic Statement, published just last week, and release a revised Economic Statement in September.
Deputy McGrath commented, “The only certainty to emerge from last Thursday’s Brexit vote is that there will now be a period of prolonged uncertainty. Whether we like it or not, we are caught up in the middle of that uncertainty. The political turmoil in the UK is contributing to the economic fallout from the decision of the UK to vote to leave the European Union. The impact of the Brexit vote on the Irish economy will take some time to become clear but it is hard to see anything other than a very negative impact over the short to medium term.
“In my view, the government is wrong to state categorically that Brexit will have no impact on October’s budget. The most sensible course of action is for the government to spend July and August assessing the possible impact of Brexit, while updating the Summer Economic Statement and then republishing it in September in advance of October’s budget. Decisions on Budget 2017 should be made in the cold light of day following a fuller assessment of the impact of Brexit on Ireland.
“The negotiations on the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU will, apart from the peace process, be the toughest set of political negotiations that Ireland has ever been involved in. Our Taoiseach and negotiating team need to be strong and assertive in those discussions. The fallout from Brexit will dominate the agenda during this government’s term of office. They should take the opportunity presented now to assess and stress test the impact of Brexit on the Irish economy before finalising overall budgetary strategy for 2017.”