No-deal Brexit 'could lead to 50,000 Irish job losses'

By Shane Harrison
BBC NI Dublin correspondent

image captionPaschal Donoghue made his remarks as he outlined the summer econimic statement

A no-deal Brexit could lead to 50,000 job losses in the Republic of Ireland and cause economic growth to flatline, the Irish finance minister has said.

Paschal Donoghue made his remarks as he outlined the summer economic statement.

He said that if the UK maintains its current relationship with the EU, economic growth would be about 3.5%, with another budget surplus.

But a no-deal Brexit could lead to a budget deficit, he added.

Mr Donoghue said that he and Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar would make a decision as to which scenario was more likely after the Dáil's (Irish parliament) summer recess ends in September.

The Republic of Ireland's budget is due on 8 October.

The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October.

Irish national broadcaster RTÉ reports that the Irish government could have to borrow up to €5bn (£4.47bn) to cushion the blow of a no-deal Brexit, as opposed to running a €1.2bn (£1.07bn) surplus.

It says borrowings would be required to keep spending plans on track, as well as funding extra social welfare for the estimated 50,000 job losses and support packages for those industries that would be hit hard by Brexit, notably in the agri-food sector.

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