1. The UK’s and the ROI’s banks are inter-connected. The RBS has loans totaling GBP 54bn in the Republic, Lloyds 27 billion. Two out of Northern Ireland’s largest banks are owned by companies based in the Republic.
2. In 2009, the UK exports to the ROI were worth more in financial terms than the total amount exported to Brazil, China, India and Russia (40% of NI’s exports are to the ROI).
3. The ROI is the only country the UK shares a land border with; it’s not in our selfish interest for that country to become a Failed State (be it economically, socially or politically).
This from Cameron today is, however, not such a valid reason:
“There is an enormous migration takes place between Britain and Ireland. If the Irish economy collapsed, that would have a huge impact on Irish people coming to the UK for work.”Playing to the xenophobia of the right-wingers in his own party who have had their nose extremely put out by the party's recent shenanigans in Europe? Probably, but the plain fact is that whether or not the ROI makes an recovery out of the mess it is in, there is going to be a return to the mass emigration of its working-age citizens for the foreseeable future. The second fact is that the UK (even before both countries joined the EU) has had an open door policy to ROI citizens and that is not going to change. Thirdly, the previous "influxes"/"floods"/"swamps" from across the Irish Sea hardly damaged the UK's economy did they?
So as long as the UK's social security system works the way the Coalition government are promising it's going to work then...what's the problem? An "influx" of highly motivated people prepared to work hard for their survival is not that terrible prospect to look forward to surely? Will it help or hinder the UK's economic recovery?
Bring it on.