There will be silver clouds, best to go and look for them now…

So listen, before we all get too carried away with Brian’s impersonation of Private Frazer’s Wur Doomed, let me get a Don’t Panic word in before the end of the day… On Evening Extra yesterday

The chief executive of Northern Ireland’s inward investment agency has told the BBC he is “excited” by some of the opportunities presented by Brexit.
Alastair Hamilton said it would release his agency, Invest NI, from the state aid “challenges” of EU membership.
A tightening of rules in 2014 reduced Invest NI’s ability to offer grants.
Mr Hamilton said the “vast majority” of firms that invested in Northern Ireland in recent years had not come for EU market access.
He was speaking from the United States, where he said two companies were close to committing to an investment.

There’s a lot of talking up of catastrophes, on social media in particular. But the truth is we don’t know what’s coming next. The need to look for new opportunities is not an optional extra, it’s a pressing need.

  • Wur wee Wullie Frazier is that Mick?

  • Brian O’Neill

    Well to be fair what do you expect him to say? It is his job to talk these things up. I am sure David Cameron wanted to say “your all fecked, I am out of here” but he has to keep up the pretence.

    Invest NI’s dubious record is worth a whole series of posts. But that’s another story.

  • chrisjones2

    Absolutely right.

    You want access to the 5th biggest economy and low Corpo Tax ….come to NI

  • Declan Doyle

    It’s actually the 6th biggest now

  • Obelisk

    Or if you want access to the world’s biggest trading bloc (including the fourth and fifth largest economies) and low Corpo Tax…come to the Republic.

  • Obelisk

    I agree with you. Man seems to be doing his job. I wish him well because, frankly, the ‘we’re doomed’ spiel is justified when it’s true.

    I’ll be pleasantly stunned if Brexit is regarded as anything other as a catastrophe in twenty years time.

  • SDLP supporter

    Alasdair Hamilton was a SPAD to Paisley Snr., so competent person as I am sure he is, he’s very likely on the DUP and Arlene’s political wavelength, so it’s more than likely he was sent out to bat for them. Time will tell, won’t it? My guess is that the negative effects of Brexit will last for years, that the block grant will be cut, etc.

    Arlene said in the Assembly yesterday that a positive effect of Brexit might mean that the Treasury might lowerits demand for a cut of £200 million in the block grant in exchange for a reduction in Corporation Tax. However, since that £200 million is probably the Treasury’s best guess of the tax take they would forego by agreeing to reduce the NI CT rate, that means Arlene is anticipating that profits and tax take from companies in NI is going to be lower in the next few years. Lower profits. Mean fewer people employed and job losses. And she thinks that is a ‘benefit’?

  • murdockp

    I cannot believe what I am reading, I was half expecting photos of British Leyland and quotes from “Red Robbo” to boot.

    In common English I read this as “due to Northern Ireland’s failure to modernise our civil service, our planning system, building control and other regulatory services, our lack of spending in infrastructure, broadband, lack of coding education in schools, we will be now able to ‘spunk’ taxpayers, no wait, it is worse than this, borrowed money on companies who will only locate in NI if we given them a larger ball of cash than other countries.

    Meanwhile in ROI, companies are locating there because they want to be there for all the right reasons.

    The quote from Alaistair Hamiliton is a bit like some one on death row smiling saying, “I just received some great news, they are going to hang me with a noose rather than using an electric chair”.

  • murdockp

    Read the Act. In simple laymans terms if Apple sells 50,000 products in Northern Ireland and 500m devices in the rest of the world it will pay 12.5% corporation tax on the profits made selling the 50,000 phones in Northern Ireland.

    If Apple sells 50,000 phones in the Irish republic and sells 500m phones in the rest of the world, The generous tax rules will mean will pay circa 1% corporation Tax on all global revenues in ROI.

    The 12.5% Corporation Tax Parity is a myth.

  • AntrimGael

    Will Brexit release Invest NI to go and bring some jobs and investment to North and West Belfast and West of the Bann?

  • Reader

    Brian O’Neill: David Cameron wanted to say…
    Rumour has it, something like: “Feck that, why should I do the hard stuff”
    Which is horribly plausible.

  • Obelisk

    Well anything is possible. But no. People need to acknowledge Brexit for what it is. The greatest catastrophe to hit Northern Ireland in the 21st century…so far.

  • Chingford Man

    Oddly enough there was no mayhem in the markets yesterday. Looks like the financial meltdown is delayed.

  • Declan Doyle

    You are correct. The chaos of the last few days has calmed. Sterling has gained ground and the markets have stabilised.

  • Declan Doyle

    6th biggest economy

  • StevieG

    So what? The stock market is not the economy. There was always going to be volatility but this has nothing to do with Invest NI and inward investment and the point being made here. I’m sure the vast majority of those who voted for Brexit are happy the financial elites, bankers and internationalists have been making gains from this, and they have sympathy that they now need to pay to have their money secured in German bonds.
    The economy is about productivity, jobs and output – we are attractive for some inward investment from the US here because we are in the EU (and not in the Euro). You will see investment increase in Ireland, and likely Spain and Portugal. You will see a decline in investment in NI, and this will impact the knowledge sector paricualarly given the decline in spending from the EU in our universities and by emigation south to take up those jobs (this is what is going to happen with a high probability, whereas the likely feedback is sure this will be replaced by other funding from London but this cannot be said with any confiidence of actually occuring – ie just because people say stuff with no basis on fact does not make it true).

  • Gopher

    Istanbul is closer to Brussels than London and has a land border with it.

  • kensei

    We are subject to the EU Rules until Article 50 is triggered, quite possibly through the negotiation period and if the are in the EEA, probably after. This is a disaster.

  • kensei

    If you think the stock market will come well out of this, stick your money where your mouth is. Long the FTSE 100 and 250. If you are right, you’ll make a clean fortune.

  • murdockp

    Or the North of England where I assume the state aid rules have also been scrapped, energy costs are lower, transport costs are lower and business rates are lower and the population is not workshy like here.

  • Chingford Man

    I said the markets were weathering the storm rather better than the predictions of recent day indicated. Today the FTSE 100 has opened 1.3pc higher. Longer term there may be more Brexit-related volatility although the UK’s vast amount of debt that Osborne has massively increased since 2010 should be a bigger worry.

  • Chingford Man

    Inward investment depends on a lot of factors, with location being only one of them. I’m pretty sure Mr Hamilton is correct. Firms don’t just come to an EU country to access the EU single market. There’s a big world out there beyond the sclerotic EU on which too many people are transfixed.

    Of course, one big silver cloud will be the effect of a weaker Pound long term on Northern Ireland’s tourist sector. Tourists will get a great deal on transferring their dollars and euros into sterling.

  • kensei

    It’s better to look at the FTSE 100 in $ rather than £. Those are largely international companies bought by international investors. But that measure it is down a lot further and $ investors might consider there is value. The FTSE 250 – generally considered a better guide to the domestic economy is way, way down.

    But this is way, way too early to start crowing. At the moment this is just theoretical. If this causes an investment freeze and a recession as expected, then we’ll into a series of announcements from companies, government bodies that will turn sentiment negative. Then there’ll be volatility around the negotiations, news form the rest of the world, the prospect of the Greece crisis reinitiating… etc.

    When the 2008 crash happened, there were sharp drops but there were relative periods of calm before it headed down again – the trend continued for about 18 months and it took years to reach the previous peak again.

    As I said, if you are sure this will all be rosy, there is a killing to be made. But personally, I’ll avoid commenting on the markets as being ok or not for about a year, at least.

  • Kev Hughes

    We (the guys I work for) have already figured in a 10% drop in commercial real estate prices yesterday, which some may say is great news, but perversely, really isn’t seeing that the LTV on loans has increased and a large number of sponsors will have to pump some more equity into their current investments and proposed investments.

    Some stocks will do well, but watch for the triggering of Article 50, that’s when this will really kick off.

  • StevieG

    Seriously, you are just saying stuff because! You’re “pretty sure Mr Hamilton is correct”. On what basis? What is the major factor for investment, other than the truism that “it depends on a lot of factors”? Why would anyone invest in NI/UK when the UK is tearing up all fundamental treaties and relationships that makes them attractive in law and in market access? Not being in the Euro and being close to it on the island of Ireland with a friendly business environment and access to knowledgeable resources is a major contributing factor. You are conflating the economy with tourism (companies do not invest serioulsy on the basis of foreign exchange gambles!). I agree that there is an opportunity for tourism, but that is a different issue and do we really want the’Ulster Folk Museum’ to encompass all the country?
    Make a valid point about the environment for investment in light of the statement made by the Invest NI CEO and the subject of this topic.
    Arlene has a lot to answer for here…my only recommendation now is to ensure my kids can leave here – the future is bleak and saying rosy things is not a ‘silver lining’.

  • Hugh Davison

    What’s your point?
    If there is one, has it anything to do with the OP?