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Economy, Agriculture and Trade in Northern Ireland

februar 28, kl. 10:00 - 12:00


Alan Mathiews is Professor Emeritus of European Agricultural Policy in the Department of Economics, School of Social Sciences and Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland will give a talk on Northern Ireland’s (NI) economy, agriculture and trade.

“I will first describe the structure of the NI economy, comparing productivity and living standards with the UK as a whole, Ireland and Denmark. I will provide some historical perspective on how the NI economy has evolved through time. In particular, the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998 had a positive effect following the negative impacts of the Troubles, although it did not resolve NI’s underlying problems of low productivity and innovation. I will emphasise the importance of the transfer from the UK public budget to maintaining living standards in NI and in creating the dominance of public sector employment. We will also look at how trading patterns are changing, particularly following Brexit.

The talk will then describe the characteristics of and challenges for agriculture in NI, particularly in the post-Brexit context. NI can now develop its agricultural policy outside the constraints of EU rules. A highly integrated all-island agricultural economy developed when the UK and Ireland were both EU members. Brexit has not yet had major implications for North-South trade flows in agri-food but it is a flashpoint in the continuing negotiations on the NI Protocol.

Brexit has pushed the campaign for a united Ireland up the agenda, though this option is still supported by only a small minority in NI. The differences in economic structures and living standards between North and South are a potential obstacle to reunification (leaving the more important political considerations aside). If time permits, the talk will conclude with a brief look at the debate around the economics of reunification.

The talk will be in English.

PS: I forlængelse af mødet er der møde for rejsegruppens medlemmer omkring de praktiske forberedelser.


februar 28
10:00 - 12:00
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