2 Irelands together

Why does economics seem to matter so little in Northern Ireland?  The biggest political debate in the UK’s contemporary history – whether or not to pull out of the European Union – is now taking centre stage in British politics and will stay there for most of the next two years. It is basically about two things: national sovereignty and national economic self-interest. An answering debate is starting in Ireland, initiated, inter alia, by a thought-provoking book of essays, Britain and Europe: The Endgame – An Irish Perspective, published recently by the Dublin-based Institute of International and European Affairs¹.

A key conclusion of the chapter on Northern Ireland, by the economist John Bradley (who has written extensively on both the Northern and cross-border economies), is that NI faces two broad choices in the potentially tumultuous period ahead: one is to muddle along with “agendas crowded by the mistrust…

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