In Celebration of Peter Neary

The School of Economics at University College Dublin will celebrate the career and contributions of Peter Neary, the outstanding Irish economist of our time, with a special event on 29 April 2021.

For over forty-five years, Peter has been a leader in advancing the theoretical understanding of international trade. His far-ranging work has included research on imperfect competition in international markets, trade policy, multiproduct firms, and the specific concerns of resource- rich economies. While his best-known work is in trade, Peter’s contributions extend well beyond that field and cover issues such as modelling consumer behaviour and comparing international living standards. Finally, despite his reputation as a theorist, his applied work has been extraordinarily influential, particularly in the Irish context.

In addition to impact of his research, Peter helped to revolutionize Economics in Ireland, particularly at UCD where he worked for over 25 years before moving to Oxford University in 2006. It is no small statement to say that his time in Dublin transformed the way Economics is done in Ireland, both in the classroom and in the broader approach to grappling with pressing issues.

This event will highlight just a few of these accomplishments and will include contributions from Jim Anderson (Boston University), Ian Crawford (Oxford), Carsten Eckel (Munich), Ian Irvine (Concordia), Dermot Leahy (Maynooth), Monika Mrázová (Geneva), Rodney Thom (UCD), and Tony Venables (Oxford).

The online event will run from 1500-1700 UMT (Dublin time) on 29 April 2021.

Register for this online event at https://ucd-

Congratulations to Philip Lane

Many congratulations to Philip who has been formally appointed as the ECB’s new chief economist. The next few years are likely to be challenging ones for the Eurozone, and so it’s good to see an economist trained on the briny shores of the Atlantic being appointed to the position.

Brexit at Books Upstairs

Books Upstairs is very kindly hosting myself and Paul Gillespie at 6.30 pm on Thursday 28th February. We will be discussing my book, and no doubt the latest state of play as well. Space is limited, so those interested should email to reserve a place.

A Short History of Brexit (Part 2: notes from Chapter 8 on)


  1. Young (1999), p. 483.
  2. The speech is available at
  3. Young (1999), p. 479.
  4. Grob-Fitzgibbon (2016), pp. 438–9.
  5. The speech itself, as well as a superbly useful range of accompanying documents, is available at
  6. Young (1999), p. 423.
  7. Grob-Fitzgibbon (2016), p. 451.
  8. Grob-Fitzgibbon (2016), p. 453;
  9. A reference presumably to the European Commission’s Commissioners.
  10. Cited in Seldon and Collings (2000).
  11. Young (1999), p. 362.
  15. Young (1999), p. 433.
  16. I have put the word ‘victory’ in inverted commas to highlight the way in which much of the British political class and media have traditionally portrayed EU negotiations in terms of victory and defeat, rather than compromise and mutual benefit.
  17. The origins of these numbers, which seem arbitrary, are murky. On one account the 3 per cent figure is, like VAT, a gift from France to the world: see a-l-origine-du-deficit-a-3-du-pib-une-invention-100-francaise.html.
  18. Which is why I and 38 other Irish citizens were able to stand for election in the French municipal elections of 2014. And it should be noted that there were also 389 British candidates; see
  19. See Eichengreen and Wyplosz (1993) for a detailed account of the EMS crisis of 1992–3. Like all the Brookings Papers it is freely available online at
  20. Young (1999), p. 369.
  21. Both statements are equally true of the Clinton years.
  22. 23. Shipman (2017), p. 6.
  23. Kenny and Pearce (2018). 25. Ibid., pp. 131, 145.
  24. Shipman (2017), p. 7.
  25. Ibid., p. 8.
  26. Delors’s statement is available at; the quotations in the text are taken from pp. 17–18.
  27.   Gstöhl (1994).
  28. Shipman (2017), p. 15.
  29. Available at
  30. Shipman (2017), pp. 588–9.
  31. See O’Toole (2018).
  32. See for example
  33. Although I was a member of the Centre for European Reform’s Commission on the UK and the Single Market, I declined to sign a resultant letter to the newspapers on what the UK ought to do, as well as similar subsequent efforts, for two reasons. First, I’m not British, and I know from the Irish experience how irritating it is to have foreigners telling you what to do at times like this. And second, it wasn’t at all clear to me that economists’ letters were particularly helpful. On that score at least, I think I was (unfortunately) right.
  34. The statement led to a sharp rise in the British pound and a bigger subsequent collapse, all of which helped certain lucky investors to make a lot of money (Shipman 2017, pp. 432–4).

A Short History of Brexit

Many of the sources cited in A Short History of Brexit, particularly in the later chapters, are freely available on the internet. I am reproducing the book’s endnotes here so that these can be easily accessed by interested readers.

This post lists the notes for chapters up to and including Chapter 7. The notes for Chapters 8-11 and the Envoi are available here.