Brian Hayes MEP today (Monday) welcomed the solidarity shown by ECB President Mario Draghi when he gave his view that Ireland would not be left alone to cope with the consequences of a hard Brexit. Mr. Hayes questioned President Draghi at a hearing of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee today.
“President Draghi gave a very clear view that he doesn’t believe that Ireland would be left alone to cope with the negative consequences of a hard Brexit. He said that one of the fundamental values of the European Union is solidarity and therefore it seems unlikely that Ireland would have to suffer the fallout of a hard Brexit alone.
“While we have to continue working on the basis that there will be agreement on a broad overarching trade agreement between the EU and the UK, we still have to factor in the possibility of the talks failing.
“The EU has shown full solidarity with Ireland over the border issue. This further message of support from President Draghi is very welcome. Various studies have shown that Ireland will be the Member State most affected by a hard Brexit and that our GDP could be hit by up to 3%.
“Having EU solidarity is an extra buffer that could help Ireland cope with any financial shock of Brexit. The government has been very active in developing contingency plans to ensure that Ireland is ready for a hard Brexit.
“However, we still don’t know the extent of the financial shock a hard Brexit may trigger. That is why Ireland needs to be ready to avail of every type of support mechanism to ensure that the growth we have achieved following the financial crisis is not destroyed in one fell swoop.
“In any case, the government should be absolutely focused on one thing and that is getting progress towards a deal between the EU and the UK. It is in our national interest that a deal is reached but as part of that we need a legally operable backstop.”