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A bridge to the unknown has been crossed – Hayes

A bridge to the unknown has been crossed – Hayes

Euro/Sterling exchange rate poses ‘immediate danger’ to Irish economy

MEP for Dublin, Brian Hayes, has described the result of the UK’s referendum on Europe as a ‘bridge to the unknown’. MEP Hayes, a member of the European Parliament’s Economic Committee, highlighted the euro/sterling exchange rate as an ‘immediate danger’ to Ireland.

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“Britain’s decision to leave the EU is a massive political earthquake. The shock waves of this decision will unfold in the days and months ahead. Ireland is right to be worried and apprehensive. As our single most important trading partner, Britain’s decision leaves us vulnerable to negative currency fluctuations.

The immediate danger to Ireland is the euro/sterling exchange rate. A fall in the value of sterling will have extremely negative consequences for Irish exports to Britain. The competitiveness of our important tourist sector will also be hit.

A bridge into the unknown has been crossed. Britain’s decision to leave is a real threat to the future of the EU. There are also risks to the stability and cohesion of the UK itself. Britain and Europe must now begin the long and complex process of establishing a new political and economic relationship. A huge burden of responsibility will now fall on Irish politics.

While defending its own interests Ireland must be prepared to act as a mediator in future British/EU negotiations. Ireland will also need to be extremely mindful of British/Irish relationships and the rapidly changing dynamics of internal UK politics. Above all this is a time for clear thinking and calm heads.

The stability and security of Europe are worth preserving. The freedoms we enjoy as Europeans must never be taken for granted. The EU must renew its commitment to the values which have driven the EU project since its foundation. The response by national and European politicians needs to be adequate to the scale of the challenges ahead.

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