The UK’s departure from the EU has profoundly affected the politics and economics of Northern Ireland. Brexit has shattered a political accommodation that was taking shape in the region that involved nationalism and unionism refraining from aggressively pursuing their own objectives or making excessive demands on each other. Economically, it has made the task of building an innovative economy in the region immeasurably more difficult. Without radical change, Northern Ireland is destined to be an economic outhouse of an under-performing UK economy.
This book represents the first systematic study of the impact of Brexit on the political and economic future of Northern Ireland and Ireland. It provides a detailed assessment of the consequences of the Belfast Agreement and highlights how Brexit imperils the advances that have been made since its signing in 1998. It makes a dispassionate assessment of the changes that may be necessary to create a stronger Northern Ireland economy. On the one hand, demands for the immediate unification of Ireland that are now being made loudly and persistently by nationalists and republicans are considered too precipitous. The two economies on the island are not yet ready for Irish unity. On the other hand, the book argues the case for a radical reorientation of the Northern Ireland economy through the incremental creation of an all-Ireland economy.
The book cuts through the rhetoric that characterizes so much discussion about the Northern Ireland economy and provides a hard-headed appraisal of not only its structure and performance, but also the economic feasibility of Irish unity.
Table of Contents
List of Figures and Tables
Chapter 1: A Time for Change
Chapter 2: The N. Ireland Economy since the Belfast Agreement
Chapter 3: The Limited Progress towards an all-Ireland Economy
Chapter 4: Brexit and the Belfast Agreement: Fragmenting a Fragile Political Bargain
Chapter 5: Brexit, the Withdrawal Agreement and the Northern Ireland Protocol
Chapter 6: The Economics of Irish Unity
Chapter 7: The Imperative of an all-Ireland Economy
Paul Teague is Professor of Management at Queen’s University, Belfast. He has written widely on the political economy of European integration as well as Ireland. He is the author of multiple books and articles on these topics.