Dan O’Brien points out that if things are bad on John Bull’s Island, it’s not going to be good on his old cast off either…
If the importance of Ireland for the United Kingdom’s prosperity tends to be underestimated across the water; on this side of the Irish Sea the hulking presence of the behemoth next door prevents any blindness to the enormous importance of bilateral economic relations.
The UK is Ireland’s largest trading partner. The labour markets of the two economies are as closely integrated as any in Europe. There is a significant two-way investment relationship. In 2009, the stock of Irish direct investment in Britain was €26 billion, while British investment in Ireland touched €20 billion, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.
Specifically, he notes that the modest recovery in the British economy, is not necessarily going to be good for Ireland:
The OECD (along with other optimistic forecasters) expects exports to generate much of this growth, as the domestic economy reels from the effects of austerity. And that is where there is bad news for Irish exporters. A weaker domestic economy means weaker demand for imports.