How Brexit could HELP Northern Ireland become ‘powerhouse’ due to ‘unique status’
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Political commentator Emma DeSouza revealed that the province has had a £690million boost in additional sales to the Republic of Ireland since the measures were introduced in January. She claimed that Northern Ireland’s “unique status” of being in the EU’s Single Market while remaining part of the UK gave it a huge advantage.
And despite there being checks on goods travelling from the mainland UK to the province – much more of its trade came from the south, outweighing this loss, she added.
Writing in the Irish Times, she said: “With free access to twin markets, Northern Ireland could avail of potentially the largest combined purchasing power in the world, reimagining the region into an economic powerhouse, but only if we let it.”
She went on to claim that much of the fury surrounding renegotiating the protocol from all sides was simply “rhetoric” and they all knew it was here to stay.
Neither is this a bad thing, she claims, insisting that the province – which still lives under the shadow of The Troubles – could do well out of a protocol-induced economic boom.
She continued: “Making much of the inflamed rhetoric and political theatrics over the ‘damage’ of the protocol appear more like electioneering than a genuine political position.
“This toxic and contentious narrative provides endless fodder for (Boris) Johnson and his Brexiteers to perpetuate the portraiture of the EU as the forever-bogeyman, and provides the DUP with a ‘never, never, never’ ticket to run on in next year’s (Northern Ireland) Assembly election, all while knowing that the protocol could provide Northern Ireland with a competitive advantage and a much-needed economic boom.
“Northern Ireland remains a post-conflict society, still grappling with intergenerational trauma.
“Several areas continue to languish, steeped in deprivation, with as many as one in four children living in relative poverty.
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“The Northern Ireland protocol could transform the economy, and businesses – and politicians know it.”
Much has been written and said about the protocol since it was brought into force earlier this year.
Northern Ireland’s Unionist community claim that the checks on goods travelling between the province and the rest of the UK threaten their British identity.
Anger over it has already sparked several nights of rioting and vocal calls for all checks to be scrapped.
But Ms DeSouza claims this is all a front to appeal to their electoral base.
All sides know it is here to stay and are preparing for this eventuality, she added.
In some ways this has also been good for small businesses in the province – who have increasingly been supplying large firms keen to avoid the bureaucracy of sourcing from further afield.
Investors have recognised this and are reportedly flooding to Northern Ireland – giving its economy a welcome boost.
The figures highlight this with north-south trade seeing a sharp rise, according to the Central Statistics Office.
Goods being imported from Northern Ireland to the Republic are up 77 percent, while the value of exports from the Republic to the North has risen by 43 percent, it revealed.
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