Honohan on Ireland and Brexit

Vox EU carry an interview with Patrick here. You should be able to listen to it by clicking the bar below.

By Stephen Kinsella

Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Limerick.

One reply on “Honohan on Ireland and Brexit”

Prof Honahan did a good interview and gave sensible answers throughout, although the interviewer didn’t ask many probing or interesting questions. He’s no Jeremy Paxman.

More importantly on the Brexit front, Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness are now effectively united in demanding that the UK government keep existing cross-border arrangements.


This is a considerable u-turn by Arlene Foster and one can only surmise that she’s getting feedback from her unionist supporters in Tyrone and Fermanagh that the last thing they want is the hard border reimposed between Strabane and Lifford, or EU regional policy replaced by the joke UK regional policy that the English Tories would like to see, or N. Ireland agriculture subject to a ‘cheap food’ policy that might suit the interests of London and south-east England.

Meantime, on the comedy front, the Irish Times has launched its campaign to convince people that Ireland is on the brink of economic ruin.


Given that we are probably now in the run-up to referenda on the (British) Union in both N. Ireland and Scotland, I think we can be assured that this will be the first of hundreds of such pieces in the Irish Times in the next few years. MI5 have a very large budget.

However, the idea that the current modest upturn in the housing market will lead to a massive crash is bonkers. The fall in GDP in Ireland between 2007 and 2011 was largely accounted for by the fall in new house-building. The number of new houses built fell from 83k in 2006/07 to 8k in 2010/11, a fall of 90%. This on its own knocked 8% off GDP. However, we know this can not be repeated. In 2016 it looks like the number of new houses built will have climbed back to 15k/16k. Even if new house-building were to end completely (laughable given the housing shortage), the effect on GDP would be less than one-fifth of that in the 2007-2011 period. Its far more likely that new house-building will rise in coming years.

Comments are closed.