The authors of an economic report on the unification of Ireland said in Dublin today it could boost the island’s economy by €30 billion – with benefits distributed on both sides of the Border.
The report, ‘Modelling Irish Unification’, by political science and economic researchers in Canada and Europe considered three unification models, the most optimistic of which estimated a €35.6 billion boost in an all-island GDP (gross domestic product) during the first eight years of unification.
It was commissioned by KRB, a San Francisco Bay area–based nonprofit social welfare organisation that promotes social welfare and conflict resolution through education, and originally published last November but was launched in Dublin on Wednesday at the city’s Westbury Hotel.
In the course of their research the authors examined German and Korean unification models.
Among the factors taken into account are bringing Northern Ireland into the Eurozone and being integrated into the Republic’s tax system.
Ireland would also have to pay to Northern Ireland the £10 billion a year (€12.7 pa) that comes from Westminster.
Professor Steven Raphael of the University of California at Berkeley said in the executive summary:
“Political and economic unification of the North and South would likely result in a sizeable boost in economic output and incomes in the North and a smaller boost in the South.”
Economist Michael Burke who used to work at Citbank here in London was at the Dublin launch.
He said: “We hear lots of reasons for or against Irish unification but very few of them focus on the economic debate.
“In my view – and I think it is substantiated by this very voluminous research – Irish unification is a growth story, is a success story, is a prosperity story, and that’s why I very much welcome the report”.
Political scientist Dr Kurt Hubner, who led the research, said:
“It’s a win-win for both (but)…we see the study as one little element of the conversation, Irish unification is very much in the sphere of politics, and not so much in the economics. We need a broader conversation, it’s only a starting point.
Read the full report here: www.prcg.com/modeling-irish-unification
Read the fact sheet here: www.prcg.com/modeling-irish-unification/fact-sheet.pdf