Brexit an opportunity for the Irish economy – north and south of the border

31 March 2017

Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland should seize the opportunity presented by Brexit to revitalise the economy on both sides of the border, according to economist, author and journalist David McWilliams.

Speaking exclusively to clients of UK wealth manager Brewin Dolphin at The Merchant Hotel in Belfast, McWilliams said that the UK’s exit from the EU provides a great opportunity for the two parts of Ireland to work together.

Presenting his ideas on the day that Article 50 was triggered, starting the official negotiations between the EU and UK over Britain’s exit, McWilliams believes that co-operation can take place while retaining the existing borders.

 McWilliams, who was the first economist to identify the Irish boom before the financial crisis as a credit bubble, said:
 “At the time of Brexit, how do you make Ireland, the north and the south, more attractive? You attract in capital, both parts of Ireland together.

“Capital is like water: it goes to the place of least resistance. This gives Ireland a great opportunity to work together, to figure out an entirely new way to engage with the world at a time when the Republic of Ireland will be the only English-speaking country with an amazing tax offer for large corporations.  You become like the attractive magnet that money flows
to and you do it together.
“It isn’t about Northern Ireland versus the Republic. We can work on it together.”
“Brexit entwines the fates of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in a much more coincident way than anything in the past,” he added.

Hal Catherwood, Head of Brewin Dolphin (Belfast), said “I am delighted that we have had the opportunity to host this event at such a crucial time for our country. David’s positive, forward-thinking message has huge relevance for residents of Northern Ireland as well as for our neighbours in Britain and Europe”.

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About Brewin Dolphin
Brewin Dolphin is one of the UK's leading independently-owned providers of discretionary wealth management. With £36.4* billion in funds under management, we offer award-winning personalised wealth management services that meet the varied needs of over 100,000 account holders, including individuals, charities and pension funds.

We give clients security and wellbeing by helping them to protect and grow their wealth, in order to enrich their lives by achieving their goals and aspirations.  Our services range from bespoke, discretionary investment management to retirement planning and tax-efficient investing. Our focus on discretionary investment management has led to significant growth in client funds and we now manage £30.1* billion on a discretionary basis.

In line with the premium we place on personal relationships, we’ve built a network of 28 offices across the UK, Channel Islands and Ireland, staffed by qualified investment managers and financial planners. We are committed to the most exacting standards of client service, with long-term thinking and absolute focus on our clients' needs at the core.

We are proud of our success and have the vision and ambition to grow into the UK's leading provider of discretionary wealth management. We were awarded a 5 star Defaqto 2016 rating for DFM Managed Portfolio, the City of London Wealth Management Awards for Best Discretionary Service Award 2015 and the Portfolio Adviser Gold Award for Best Cautious Portfolio Manager 2015 - Large Firm. We are committed to building on our strong track record and delivering continued value to both our clients and shareholders.

*as of 31 December 2016.

About David McWilliams
David McWilliams is one of Ireland’s leading economic commentators and was the first economist to identify the Irish boom as nothing more than a credit bubble, warning of its collapse and the consequences for the country. His objective is to make economics as widely available and easily understandable on as many platforms as possible. He is recognised as one of the world’s Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum, Davos and is a regulator contributor to Google’s famed Zeitgeist conference.

He is a writer, journalist, lecturer, broadcaster and documentary maker and has written four bestsellers, presented award-winning documentaries and brought a sell-out, one-man economics stand-up show to the stage at Ireland’s renowned national theatre, the Abbey.  He is very active on social media and in 2014 was ranked Ireland’s most influential Twitteruser. He writes two economics columns a week in Irish newspapers, is a regular contributor to the Financial Times and the co-founder of the economics festival, an eclectic combination of economics and stand-up comedy.