VIDEO: New research claims a united Ireland could be worth €30 billion to the economy
'Irish unification is a success story'.
New research claims that uniting the 32 counties could significantly increase economic growth on both sides of the border.
Launched today at Dublin’s Westbury Hotel, a study entitled ‘Modelling Irish Unification’ found that economic integration of the north and south could potentially boost the economy by over €30 billion.
The international study conducted by political science and economic researchers in Canada and Europe presented three unification scenarios, the most optimistic of which estimated a €35.6 billion boost in an all-island GDP (gross domestic product) during the first eight years of unification.
The study, which was commissioned by KRB, a San Francisco Bay area–based nonprofit social welfare organisation that promotes social welfare and conflict resolution through education, examined German and Korean unification models.
Factors included the North adopting the Euro and the southern tax scheme, as well as Dublin paying the £10 billion (€12.7) in fiscal transfers that the UK government provide annually.
In the executive summary, Professor Steven Raphael of the University of California at Berkeley writes:
“Political and economic unification of the North and South would likely result in a sizeable boost in economic output and incomes in the North and a smaller boost in the South.”
Speaking at the event, Michael Burke, economic consultant and former Senior International Economist at Citibank in London, discussed the impact of a unified Ireland.
"We hear lots of reasons for or against Irish unification but very few of them focus on the economic debate", he said.
Adding: "In my view - and I think it is substantiated by this very voluminous research - Irish unification is a growth story, is a success story, is a prosperity story, and that's why I very much welcome the report".
"It's a win-win for both", the words of Professor of Political Science, Dr Kurt Hubner, who led the study.
When asked if economic unification was possible without political unification, Hubner simply replied, "no".
Hubner said he was happy to have created the conversation, but a broader discussion around the topic was needed.
"We see the study as one little element of the conversation, Irish unification is very much in the sphere of politics, and not so much in the economics."
"We need a broader conversation, it's only a starting point," he added.
Originally published on Her.ie.