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BREXIT

August 3, 2019 Leave a comment

Boris Johnson and EU Have agreed to Remove Legally Binding Regulation of Workers Rights from the Withdrawal Agreement! https://wp.me/sKzXa-brexit This will expose workers in the Six Counties.  Johnson has long denounced EU legislation protecting workers rights. He said that it is costing British Employers 8.5 Billion per year!

Any word from Northern Committee of ICTU ???

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Today,in 2019, the Standard of Living of the Population in Northern Ireland  is 10% higher than that in the Republic of Ireland!!

“However, when public consumption is added to the mix, the overall standard of living in the North today is still probably around 10 per cent higher than on this side of the Border. While the gap with the Republic is lower than in 2012, when it was 15%, it is still there, in Northern Ireland’s favour.-Prof Fitzgerald https://wp.me/sKzXa-brexit

North’s economy is facing serious consequences from English nationalism

Prof John Fitzgerald, Irish Times, Friday, November 1, 2019

Measuring the standard of living in different locations can be difficult. Data for 2012 shows that, when controlling for price differences, output per head in the Republic was 15 per cent higher than in Northern Ireland. However, consumption is a better measure of the current standard of living. As a paper I did with Edgar Morgenroth highlighted, data on Northern Ireland’s consumption per head in 2012 showed it was 15 per cent higher than in the Republic that year.

Thus, immediately after the economic crisis, the population north of the Border enjoyed a significantly higher standard of living than those in the South.

Public spending in the North on social welfare, housing and policing is more than 120 per cent of the UK average

The really big difference in living standards between the two jurisdictions arose in government consumption – the provision of public services. In Northern Ireland, the more generous funding of services, such as health, made a major contribution to the higher standard of living.

There was little difference in government consumption per head, however, between the UK as a whole and the Republic. So Northern Ireland was an exception.

Since 2012, the positive gap in output has widened substantially in favour of the Republic. This has also facilitated the more rapid growth in personal consumption experienced in the South.

However, when public consumption is added to the mix, the overall standard of living in the North today is still probably around 10 per cent higher than on this side of the Border. While the gap with the Republic is lower than in 2012 (15%), it is still there, in Northern Ireland’s favour.

The national accounting data for 2012 also highlight the exceptionally low level of investment in the North. This helps explain its poor economic performance.

In most normal economies, investment needs to reach around 20 per cent of output to generate growth. In 2012, in the depth of the recession, investment was around 20 per cent of GNP in the Republic, 17 per cent in Britain but only 10 per cent in Northern Ireland. Unless there is a major increase in investment in the North over the coming decade, its economy will continue to languish.

Furthermore, as a quarter of the North’s investment was public sector, only around 7 per cent constituted private sector investment, underlining the weakness of its business sector.

In 2016, Northern Ireland received a transfer from the UK government of €11.4 billion, 22 per cent of its GDP. This is the highest transfer rate from UK central government to any region. It is also higher than it was before the Good Friday Agreement.

Generous

The result of this transfer was that public expenditure per head in Northern Ireland was 120 per cent of the UK average, the highest of any region. Public spending in the next two poorest UK regions, the northeast of England and Wales, was between 105 per cent and 110 per cent of the UK average. This more generous treatment of Northern Ireland has been crucial to supporting its standard of living and in maintaining a high level of employment.

Public spending in the North on social welfare, housing and policing is more than 120 per cent of the UK average. Public investment in housing has been considerably higher than in the Republic, with more extensive provision of social housing.

Health expenditure per head in the North is on a par with the rest of the UK, and the National Health Service performs better than its more expensive counterpart the Health Service Executive in the south.

While Northern Ireland’s spending on education reaches 110 per cent of the UK average, it delivers the poorest outcome across the UK in terms of educational levels attained. Reform of the system, to substantially improve educational attainment, could bring about major long-term benefits for the North’s economy.

Northern Ireland has invested very little in transport or the environment, and this deficit shows in the quality of its infrastructure. Both public and private sector investment need to increase to enable the economy to flourish.

The North is clearly heavily dependent on the transfers from London. This leaves it open to changing attitudes in Britain. Brexit has resulted in a growth of English nationalism and impatience, and a lack of sympathy in London with the “nations” of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In the painful aftermath of Brexit, it is quite likely that central government transfers may be rebalanced to favour poorer English regions over the Celtic fringe. If that occurs, a sharp reduction in transfers to Northern Ireland, superimposed on a weak economy, could have serious consequences for the standard of living there.

© 2019 irishtimes.com

 

————————————————————————————-Germany Fears that Its Businesses will be undercut by a low pay, Low corporation tax, no protection for workers, extreme market driven economy in post-Brexit UK

EU Mulls Brexit Delay as Leak suggests Johnson aims to Cut Workers’ Rights

Press Association, Saturday, October 26, 2019  https://wp.me/sKzXa-brexit

 

There are fears in some quarters of the EU – and especially in Berlin – that Boris Johnson is preparing to reform Britain into “Singapore-on-Thames”, a low-tax, lightly regulated economy on the edge of Europe, once it has left.    (more further Down)

Why have Irish Media Not Picked UP on This?  https://wp.me/sKzXa-brexit

Guardian:  Brexiteers want Britain to be Singapore on Thames

Why the Singapore model won’t work for the UK post-Brexit

The city state has a strange appeal to some Tories yet even Singapore’s  prime minister doubts its approach would work in Britain

Patrick Wintour, Guardian, Diplomatic editor Wed Jan 2 2019

Jeremy Hunt arrived at the Fullerton hotel in Singapore to deliver his address as part of the International Institute for Strategic Studies Fullerton Lecture. Photograph: Wallace Woon/EPA

The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on a visit to Singapore to learn how such a relatively isolated city state has become so successful is only the latest, but most explicit, of a long line of Tory ministers to extol it as the model for the UK post-Brexit.

Quite how Singapore, an authoritarian state capitalist economy akin to China, has become the pre-eminent Tory model for the UK post-Brexit, as opposed to other more democratic economies, is puzzling.

Margaret Thatcher was a great admirer of the former British colony, but more recently others who have been intrigued by Singapore’s success include Sajid Javid, the home secretary, Michael Gove as education secretary in 2012 and Owen Paterson, a luminary of the Tory Eurosceptic benches. Others, such as Sir James Dyson, the Brexiter businessman, speak with their wallet. He picked Singapore and not the UK post-Brexit to build his new electric vehicle. Javid at least speaks from experience – he earned £3m a year as head of Deutsche Bank’s Singapore trading division.

Hunt, quickly refashioning his modernising politics to suit an imminent date with a Tory party electorate, is a more surprising advocate for Singapore. He used an article in the Mail on Sunday before his visit on Wednesday to hail its remarkable transformation from a tiny territory devoid of natural resources into the world’s eighth-richest country, adding it was “a reminder of the tidal shifts that can exist within the ebb and flow of the changing world order”.

 

In taking this course, Hunt is taking a political risk both for himself and for Brexit. He risks burning his remaining bridges with the small modernising base in the Tory party, but he also risks associating Brexit at such a sensitive time with an economic and democratic model that may be anathema to wavering Brexit voters.

Brexit critics often claim the Tory party vision is for a deregulated Singapore-on-Thames, and here is a senior cabinet minister only weeks before the key Brexit vote travelling 6,700 miles to confirm this to be the case.

For EU negotiators, anxious that a bargain-basement Britain does not have privileged access to its single market, the warning could not be clearer.

 

At one level, the parallels with the birth of Singapore and post-Brexit Britain are worth drawing. Singapore was expelled in 1965 from its short-lived union with its larger Malaysian neighbours, something that proved to be a blessing in disguise for a small city state few thought could prosper alone.

At the time of independence, Singapore’s GDP per capita stood at just $512. Now it has the eighth-largest GDP per capita in the world and is consistently ranked among the tiger countries, with the highest density of millionaires relative to population. Its achievements in schooling and housing are striking.

“We had to create a new kind of economy, try new methods and schemes never tried before anywhere else in the world, because there was no other country like Singapore,” wrote Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founder in his memoirs, From Third World to First.

But here the potential parallels between two nations reborn become more difficult. Lee explicitly refused to cede any ground to democracy while Singapore’s fellow Asian tiger economies were democratising.

Beginning in 1963, political rival the Socialist Front – a left-wing split from the ruling People’s Action party (PAP) – suffered mass arrests through the use of the Internal Security Act. Subsequent parliamentary elections have not exactly been cliff-hangers. Thanks to a mixture of bans, libel laws and media repression, the PAP manages to win all but three or four of the 80-plus seats up for contest.

Singapore had indeed modernised and developed economically, yet its authoritarian rule went unchallenged. As Milton Friedman, the great free-market economist observed in the 1990s, as much of the world succumbed to democratic rule, Singapore demonstrated that “it is possible to combine a free private market economic system with a dictatorial political system”.

Independent trade unions were so weakened that by the 1970s strikes and work stoppages had disappeared. Wages have been kept low through the use of state-sponsored trade unions and the widespread use of cheap migrant labour, something that Brexit is designed to halt. Income inequality has also widened, even if on most measures it is wider in the US.

Throughout his life, Lee defended this trade-off of democratic rights for growth, insisting that the former would have precluded the latter. “We decide what is right, no matter what the people think.”

Asked on BBC Radio 4 how Singapore fitted into his “invisible chain of democracies” Hunt simply changed the subject. In a speech to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Singapore, he resorted to euphemism: “The British legacy of the rule of law, clean administration, independent courts and the English language have all been part of Singapore’s success.”

It is also not clear if Singapore’s transformation into an export-orientated manufacturing base for international capital is relevant to the modern UK. Singapore grew at a time when globalisation allowed multinational corporations to take advantage of different labour and production costs in manufacturing. There is little chance, for instance, of the UK becoming a major exporter of electronic goods based on low wages.

Singapore also grew through a form of state intervention more associated with the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, than pro-Brexit economist Patrick Minford. Large infrastructure projects were financed from a fund based on state-compelled savings. State enterprise and public investment were at the heart of the growth. Housing is largely publicly owned.

Significantly, one of the observers most sceptical about the parallels between Singapore and Brexit is Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong. In an interview with Bloomberg in November he said: “The Singapore government accounts for 16% of GDP, maybe 17%. So to say that you’re going to be like Singapore, are you going to give up two-thirds of your government spending, state pensions and national health?”

Hunt would presumably answer in the negative, inviting the wider question as to what cause he is advancing by his visit.

 

—————————————————————Brexit is Thatcherism 2.0, Andrew Marr Told Ibec-hosted event last February in Dublin 

Eoin Burke Kennedy , Irish Times,Tuesday, February 26, 2019,https://wp.me/sKzXa-brexit

“There is an underlying logic to Brexit, but the problem is the people promoting it don’t talk about it in public. They don’t speak about it openly because it would frighten the horses.”

Advocates, he said, believe Britain should pursue an alternative economic model along the lines of the so-called Singaporean model, which would involve deep cuts to corporation tax and a wholesale jettisoning of regulations to attract inward investment.

“You slash corporation tax right down, way below where it is right now, you slash regulations, you tear up your environmental and worker protections and you go for broke, you go for bust,” he said.

“Now that is the underlying logic behind Brexit and, I think, a lot of Conservatives and certainly Ukippers privately would talk about it being Thatcherism 2.0,” he said. This is why many in the Leave camp were quite comfortable with a hard Brexit, he said.

Mr Marr said such a course of action was extremely high risk as it would involve massive cuts to the social spending that sustained the National Health Service (NHS) and the UK welfare state, as revenues from corporation tax would be much lower.

 

“Brexit is not a British phenomenon” but a European-wide revolt against Brussels, BBC presenter Andrew Marr has claimed.

While not advocating Brexit, he said there was an “underlying logic” to wanting to leave the EU in order to pursue an alternative economic model – something Brexiteers referred to as Thatcherism 2.0 – which was under-appreciated in the liberal media and in Ireland.

At event hosted by employers’ group Ibec in Dublin, the popular TV interviewer and pundit also warned that the possibility of Britain leaving without a deal remained “a very high possibility” despite recent parliamentary manoeuvres.

“I think in a kind of ‘oops, didn’t mean that’, butter fingers kind of way, no deal is still quite likely,” he said.

In a wide-ranging speech, he dismissed the notion that Brexit was an “irrational spasm” linked to the loss of empire. “We get a lot of stuff in the British media about Brexit being completely irrational. That it’s just a nationalistic, imperialistic, out-of-time spasm directed against modernity and the future,” he said.

“There is an underlying logic to Brexit, but the problem is the people promoting it don’t talk about it in public. They don’t speak about it openly because it would frighten the horses.”

Advocates, he said, believe Britain should pursue an alternative economic model along the lines of the so-called Singaporean model, which would involve deep cuts to corporation tax and a wholesale jettisoning of regulations to attract inward investment.

“You slash corporation tax right down, way below where it is right now, you slash regulations, you tear up your environmental and worker protections and you go for broke, you go for bust,” he said.

“Now that is the underlying logic behind Brexit and, I think, a lot of Conservatives and certainly Ukippers privately would talk about it being Thatcherism 2.0,” he said. This is why many in the Leave camp were quite comfortable with a hard Brexit, he said.

Mr Marr said such a course of action was extremely high risk as it would involve massive cuts to the social spending that sustained the National Health Service (NHS) and the UK welfare state, as revenues from corporation tax would be much lower.

The alternative economic model also depended on the UK striking free trade deals in a increasingly protectionist international environment, he said.

While Brexit was complex and multifaceted, it could be linked to two pillar events, Marr said: the financial crisis and the jump in immigration after EU enlargement in 2002.

“We have a situation where after the 2008 financial crisis lots of people across the EU and across Britain felt desperately excluded, economically damaged and badly hurt and wanted to hit back and they have hit back in all sorts of different ways across the EU,” he said.

“They have formed anti-immigrant parties like the AFD in Germany, they have formed insurgencies on the left like Podemos in Spain and Syriza in Greece. Everywhere you look there are these insurgencies.”

“Our form of the insurgency happened in Britain because we were offered a referendum at exactly the moment when people were feeling angriest,” he said.

It was a major political error by former UK prime minister David Cameron to hold the Brexit referendum, Mr Marr said.

“Here was somebody who was absolutely determined that we should stay inside the EU and who held a referendum which took us out of the EU. By any definition that must count as a fairly serious political error.”

But Mr Cameron’s biggest mistake was not securing a better deal from Europe on immigration. “Had he got that he’d have probably won the referendum,” Mr Marr said, noting net immigration from the EU rose from about 45,000 a year to nearly 200,000 a year after EU enlargement.

“That did have an effect on wages for people who were already feeling quite put upon and under pressure,” he said.

Mr Marr said Brexit may be just the beginning of a reshaping of British politics and that he found it hard to believe British prime minister Theresa May would be able to govern for another year given how split her party is and that an election “is not very far away”.

He said he did not believe there would be a second referendum .

“We are going to see Britain leaving the EU and we’re going to see after that a huge fight for the next direction of British economic and social policy,” he said.

© 2019 irishtimes.com

———————————————————–Comment from Basil Miller on piece below:  This (below) is exactly what Andrew Marr of the BBC suggested was the real motive behind Cameron’s Brexit poll when he (Marr) gave a lecture in Dublin back in the summer.

The difference with Singapore being that everything except financial services would be wound down, leaving an even more super rich class of wealthy, many of them non-Brits, ironically enough, and a totally impoverished precariat underclass clinging on for dear life — or becoming migrants from their own land.

EU Mulls Brexit Delay as Leak suggests Johnson aims to Cut Workers’ Rights

Press Association,c Saturday, October 26, 2019  https://wp.me/sKzXa-brexit

There are fears in some quarters of the EU – and especially in Berlin – that Boris Johnson is preparing to reform Britain into “Singapore-on-Thames”, a low-tax, lightly regulated economy on the edge of Europe, once it has left.

According to the FT’s report, the leaked Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) document said the way the political declaration – the agreement setting out the aims of the future trade negotiations between the UK and the EU – had drafted the workers’ rights and environmental protection commitments left “room for interpretation”.

Labour shadow Brexit minister Jenny Chapman said the documents, which reportedly had Downing Street input, “confirm our worst fears”.

She said: “Boris Johnson’s Brexit is a blueprint for a deregulated economy, which will see vital rights and protections torn up.”

 

Deliberations in Brussels over a Brexit delay have continued into the weekend, as a leaked document indicates the UK could deviate away from EU employee and environmental rights after exit day.

After a meeting of European Union ambassadors on Friday, a Brussels source said there was “full agreement on the need for an extension” and that “work will continue over the weekend”.

A final decision on whether they will opt for an extension until January or a shorter November delay – thought to be favoured by French President Emmanuel Macron – is not expected until Monday or Tuesday.

The weekend talks among the EU27’s teams are likely to be coloured by a leaked document, seen by the Financial Times, that indicates the Government could look to diverge away from the bloc’s rules on workers’ rights and environmental protections after Brexit.

 

There are fears in some quarters of the EU – and especially in Berlin – that Boris Johnson is preparing to reform Britain into “Singapore-on-Thames”, a low-tax, lightly regulated economy on the edge of Europe, once it has left.

According to the FT’s report, the leaked Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) document said the way the political declaration – the agreement setting out the aims of the future trade negotiations between the UK and the EU – had drafted the workers’ rights and environmental protection commitments left “room for interpretation”.

Mr Johnson this week told MPs the UK was committed to “the highest possible standards” on both sets of standards – a stance that helped to convince 19 Labour MPs to back his Withdrawal Agreement Bill at second reading on Tuesday.

The document is said to boast that “UK negotiators successfully resisted the inclusion of all UK-wide level playing-field rules” in the previous deal negotiated by Theresa May’s team, allowing Britain to compete against EU members by possibly watering down rights.

Labour shadow Brexit minister Jenny Chapman said the documents, which reportedly had Downing Street input, “confirm our worst fears”.

She said: “Boris Johnson’s Brexit is a blueprint for a deregulated economy, which will see vital rights and protections torn up.”

The Prime Minister visited a hospital on Friday and used interviews afterwards to call on opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn to “man up” and agree to a general election.

It follows the Conservative Party leader announcing on Thursday that he was prepared to give MPs more time to debate his Brexit deal in exchange for their support for a winter election on December 12.

Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice has offered a “Leave alliance” to Mr Johnson at the poll as long as he ditches his Withdrawal Agreement and campaigns to take Britain out without a deal.

Mr Corbyn has so far said Labour is waiting to see the result of the EU’s decision regarding the length of an Article 50 extension before clarifying whether he would whip MPs to back a fresh poll.

But senior figures in the party have urged him to deny Mr Johnson and instead continue to push for a second referendum and for a no-deal Brexit to be removed as an option.

Both Tony Blair, a former prime minister who won three general elections, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for him to stand firm.

I think he should go a bit further and be unequivocally pro remain and explain to those who are Brexiteers why he disagrees with them and have the argument

Mr Blair said Labour could not trust Mr Johnson not to push through a no-deal Brexit and should withhold permission for an election while the PM is void of a majority.

“That’s the core reason why, in my view, the Labour Party should not allow an election until he gives a definitive answer on the question of whether there’s going to be a no-deal outcome,” he told talkRADIO in a pre-recorded interview for Sunday.

Mr Khan, speaking to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, encouraged Mr Corbyn to be “braver” and start telling Leave voters they were “wrong”.

“I’d like the Labour Party to be braver and provide leadership on this issue,” said the former MP.

He added: “I think (Mr Corbyn) should go a bit further and be unequivocally pro remain and explain to those who are Brexiteers why he disagrees with them and have the argument.”

————————————————————–Could the Northern Ireland  Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Urgently Clarify the Position in Relation to Employment Law in Norther Ireland During the “Withdrawal period” of UK from EU and thereafter??

Employment Law in NI  https://wp.me/sKzXa-brexit

It is not as simple as saying EU Labour Law will Continue in NI but not in the Rest of the UK!!!

https://app.croneri.co.uk/feature-articles/differences-between-employment-law-great-britain-and-northern-ireland

One of the most common mistakes people make is to confuse the terms “Great Britain” and “the United Kingdom (UK)”. The distinction is important not just for geographers, but also for employment lawyers. Great Britain, quite simply, consists of England, Scotland and Wales. The UK includes England, Scotland and Wales, but also includes Northern Ireland (NI). In this article Lynda Macdonald outlines the differences in employment law between Great Britain and NI, and throughout the term “Britain” is used to denote Great Britain.

Employment law for Britain is determined by the Westminster Government, ie it is not devolved to Scotland or Wales. Employment and discrimination law was devolved to the NI Assembly in 1998, although some legislation such as the Data Protection Act 1998 applies to NI as well as the rest of the UK. Over the years, most of the legislation passed by Westminster was also enacted in NI with the result that most employment rights are, in practice, the same as in Britain (although the legal references are often different due to NI specific legislation). There are, however, some divergences and this article explains what the main differences are.

Discrimination

In Britain, the Equality Act 2010 was brought into force in order to harmonise all the previous laws on discrimination into one comprehensive piece of legislation. Some new provisions were also introduced. Because this Act was not introduced in NI, the position there departs from the position in Britain in that NI retains different statutes dealing with different types of discrimination such as sex, race, disability and age discrimination.

There is also a notable additional piece of (UK)legislation (effective only) in NI — the Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 — which specifically protects workers against discrimination on the grounds of religious belief and political opinion. This has no direct equivalent in Britain.

https://wp.me/sKzXa-brexit

(The above refers to an Order In Council issued by The UK Government–  The Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998)

You are here:

 

Other Differences  at link above

 

Future EU Directives on Employment Rights-   These now have to be ratified by Westminister Parliament

When UK eaves EU, such ratification will not then happen EVEN DURING THE TRANSITION PERIOD. How can such directives be then “extended” to NI??

—————————————————————JUST NOW 6.45am-Irish MirrorBrexit blow for Boris Johnson as DUP rejects his hopes for last-minute deal

Boris Johnson has been dealt a damning Brexit blow after the DUP rejected his hopes for a deal – hours before a crucial EU summit.  https://wp.me/sKzXa-brexit

The pound fell by 0.5% after the Northern Irish party’s leader Arlene Foster issued a 6.45am statement saying she cannot support the Prime Minister’s plan “as it stands”.

That means even if Mr Johnson secures a deal at today’s summit with 27 EU leaders, it’s likely to be voted down in Parliament on Saturday.

Ms Foster said the sticking points were customs, consent and VAT rules.

She is thought to be concerned about plans for a customs border down the Irish Sea.

And the DUP also fear current plans to consult the Stormont Assembly over any future deal could leave them without a veto.

Ms Foster and DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds said: “We have been involved in ongoing discussions with the Government.

“As things stand, we could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues and there is a lack of clarity on VAT.

————————————————————–Siptu is calling on Minister of Finance Paschal Donohoe to set out a code of conduct with the banks to provide for emergency bridging finance at reduced rates (to small and medium sized companies) and flexibility on debt redemptions for a defined period in order to save jobs and protect income.

https://wp.me/sKzXa-brexit

“Larger companies may well have the benefit of an internal treasury, significant cash holdings or access to working capital from abroad. For smaller companies, that cushion will be largely non-existent. This is where the role played by the banks will be vital,” said Ms Sherlock.

“Safeguards can be worked out to prevent abuse but the overriding purpose must be to introduce a degree of flexibility for companies to survive the initial shock. That this support is provided at a reduced fee is very important – the prospect of our banking sector generating additional profits off the back of a crisis among importing and exporting businesses would be the ultimate irony,” SIPTU Head of Policy, Marie Sherlock said.

Brexit: Shock awaiting Irish firms ‘like nothing ever experienced’ (via @IrishTimes) https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/brexit-shock-awaiting-irish-firms-like-nothing-ever-experienced-1.3975564

FULL TEXT:

The shock awaiting Irish companies in the event of a no-deal Brexit “will be like nothing ever experienced before”, Siptu has warned.

Questioning whether the Government’s contingency plan goes far enough to protect small and medium-sized businesses, the trade union said the State must be prepared to force lenders to step in and help SMEs in the event of a disorderly Brexit.

“The Department of Finance needs to ensure that there will be a co-ordinated and consistent response by the main retail banks to businesses experiencing the impact of Brexit. That the Government has sought assurances from the banks simply does not go far enough,” said Siptu’s head of policy Marie Sherlock.

She said while there may be concern that forcing lenders to support businesses will delay plans to return the country’s three main banks to full private ownership, Ms Sherlock said such moves should be put on hold “for the greater need of the Irish economy”.

The call comes amid concerns from Siptu members that there is insufficient support for companies who face liquidity issues should a no-deal Brexit take place.

 

The overriding purpose must be to introduce a degree of flexibility for companies to survive the initial shock

Siptu is calling on Minister of Finance Paschal Donohoe to set out a code of conduct with the banks to provide for emergency bridging finance at reduced rates (to small and medium sized companies) and flexibility on debt redemptions for a defined period in order to save jobs and protect income.

 

Larger companies

 

“Larger companies may well have the benefit of an internal treasury, significant cash holdings or access to working capital from abroad. For smaller companies, that cushion will be largely non-existent. This is where the role played by the banks will be vital,” said Ms Sherlock.

“Safeguards can be worked out to prevent abuse but the overriding purpose must be to introduce a degree of flexibility for companies to survive the initial shock. That this support is provided at a reduced fee is very important – the prospect of our banking sector generating additional profits off the back of a crisis among importing and exporting businesses would be the ultimate irony,” she added.

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