Northern Ireland and the EU referendum Contents

2Trade and Commerce

Northern Ireland’s Trade with the EU

14.Figure 1 below compares Northern Ireland’s trade with EU and non-EU countries with the UK’s. It highlights the extent to which Northern Ireland’s trade has been predominantly with EU nations. The proportions have not changed significantly in spite of continuing sovereign debt problems in the Eurozone.

Figure 1: Northern Ireland and UK Trade Compared (%)

Source: The EU Referendum and Potential Implications for Northern Ireland, NIAR32–16, Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Information Service, January 2016

15.This higher reliance on EU trade is largely accounted for by cross-border trade with the Republic of Ireland (see Table 2). In 2015, the Republic accounted for 61% of Northern Ireland’s exports to the EU and for 34% of Northern Ireland’s total exports. It also accounted for 49% of imports from the EU and 27% of total imports.

Table 2: Northern Ireland’s top five export and import partners




Year ending Sept 2015 (£m)

% Total exports


Year ending Sept 2015 (£m)

% Total imports































Source: HM Revenue and Customs, Regional Trade Statistics Third Quarter, 2015, p 20

16.The HMRC figures primarily focus on manufacturing rather than services. The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) has an experimental dataset under development which includes services. For 2012, the NISRA data puts total Northern Ireland exports at £8.8 billion, of which 37% went to the Republic, 20% to the rest of the EU, and 43% to non-EU countries. In sectoral terms, the largest is manufacturing, with 60.9%, followed by wholesale and retail with 17.5% (£1.6 billion), with construction, agriculture and ‘other services’ accounting for the bulk of the remainder.15

Estimating the economic impact of a Brexit

17.Calculating the costs and benefits of EU membership can be done in different ways, leading to different results. Work by the House of Commons Library notes that studies that find the EU to be a net cost to the UK typically base this on attempts to calculate the sum total of the costs of EU-derived regulation and budget contributions. On the other hand, those that find EU membership to be beneficial to the UK tend to emphasise the gains from trade flows and foreign direct investment (FDI) that they believe would be lower outside the EU.16 In evidence to us, Dr Graham Gudgin of Cambridge University’s Centre for Business Research made a similar point: “If you look at the methodology and the ways in which these studies have been done, all of them have different assumptions about whether we have a free trade agreement or not. You can pretty well predict the result from knowing what the assumptions are”.17

18.The economic impact of a Brexit is uncertain. The costs of withdrawal may not be symmetrical (i.e. the costs associated with remaining may not simply be reversed on leaving, nor all of the benefits lost) and we cannot know the way in which the UK economy may or may not adapt to leaving. In particular, we cannot know the terms under which UK firms will be able to access the Single Market in the event of a vote to leave; the scale and terms of any trade deals with non-EU countries that the UK is able to negotiate if it is outside the EU; the impact of these on the nature and volume of FDI; the uses to which UK governments would put the money that had previously gone to the EU budget; nor the immigration policies that they might adopt.

19.Because of this, attempts have been made to model a variety of possible post-Brexit arrangements. HM Treasury (which reflects the Government’s support for remaining in the EU) modelled three separate Brexit scenarios: membership of the European Economic Area (“the Norway option”); a bespoke Free Trade Agreement; and no agreement, with trade conducted under the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) “Most Favoured Nation” (MFN) system of tariffs.18 It found that leaving the EU could lead to a lower growth rate of between 4.3% and 9.5% of GDP over the course of 15 years, depending on the nature of the UK’s trading relationship with the EU (see Table 3). It should be stressed that the forecast is for the UK to continue to grow outside the EU, but slightly more slowly: as with most analyses of the economic impact, the figures given are for foregone growth rather than a loss.

Table 3: Annual impact of leaving the EU after 15 years (remaining in the EU=0)




GDP level (%) (mid)




GDP level (%) (range)

-3.4 to -4.3

-4.6 to -7.8

-5.4 to -9.5

Source: HM Treasury, HM Treasury Analysis: The Long-Term Economic Impact of EU Membership and the Alternatives, Cm 9250, April 2016, p 6

20.Economic forecasting is an inexact science—assumptions are made and uncertainty is inherent. Those in favour of leaving the EU have rejected the Treasury’s analysis as propaganda and dismissed some of its headline findings—its estimate of the loss per household, for instance—as scaremongering and misleading. It is, however, broadly consistent with other analysis, albeit towards the top of the range of estimates.19 However, some perspective is needed—Government forecasts often need correcting between one year and the next, so its estimates of growth rates over 15 years can be regarded as indicative at best. Furthermore, whilst its analysis may be plausible, the Treasury’s analysis has made assumptions about future trade relations and immigration that downplay the potential gains from a Brexit.

21.The impact is even harder to estimate at sub-national level which is perhaps why so few attempts to do so have been made.20 Dr Leslie Budd of the Open University Business School attempted to extrapolate from UK figures to estimate the result of a Brexit on Northern Ireland. As the trend rate of growth for Northern Ireland has been approximately a third lower than that of the UK, if the average estimated impact at UK-level is for a 2% reduction in the rate of GDP growth, Northern Ireland would see GDP grow approximately 3% more slowly. However, Dr Budd conceded that, such was the uncertainty surrounding the circumstances of a Brexit, such a prediction could only be a guestimate.21 Signifcantly, his 3% figure does not allow for the uncertainty surrounding the nature of the trading relationship with the EU in the event of a Brexit. A more recent study by Oxford Economics does do this, however, and it again highlights the significance of ‘known unknowns’.22 Again, they model a range of scenarios which differ according to the trade relationship with the EU as well as the domestic policy approach adopted in the event that the UK leaves. The range of scenarios they model produce outcomes that range from a negligible net loss of Gross Value Added (GVA) of -0.1% by 2030, where the UK and EU agree a wide-ranging free trade deal, to a more damaging -5.6%, where no deal is signed and trade is conducted under MFN rules. Significantly, the distinct composition of the Northern Irish economy indicates that it will be affected differently from the UK as a whole by a Brexit. In all but two of their nine scenarios, the effect of a Brexit on Northern Ireland is worse than it is for the UK (in one of the scenarios it is equivalent; in one other, better).23 Northern Ireland would be particularly badly hit if no trade deal at all was agreed. The UK would also be negatively impacted but by rather less than Northern Ireland.

22.The Oxford Economics analysis also highlights how the impact varies between sectors. For Northern Ireland, they predict that construction and manufacturing would be the hardest hit, possibly facing a loss of GVA of 4.9% and 4.1% respectively. For sectors such as transport and communications, the loss will be significantly lower at around 1%.24

23.It should be reiterated that economic modelling can, at best, provide indicative results and these should not be considered to be accurate forecasts. It is based on assumptions about future scenarios that may or may not unfold. Yet economic modelling is regularly employed in the development of policy and the unknowns faced by economic analysts are the same as those faced by the electorate voting in the referendum. If the UK does leave the EU, the extent of trade deals negotiated or access to the Single Market that the UK has cannot be known at this stage. Perhaps more importantly for those deciding how to vote in the referendum, projected GDP figures say little about how individual households will be affected. Future choices about taxes and spending made by the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive can impact on people’s lives as much as relatively small changes in the rate of growth. The IoD said that “big economic forecasts are unlikely to convince businesses, nor the public. It will come down to profit margins and cost overheads”.25 Some perspective is also needed: trade will not cease if the UK leaves the EU. Firms will trade if it remains advantageous for them to do so, even if tariffs are applied. Research also suggests that existing trading relationships persist even after the end of trade blocs in which they were established.26 Moreover, many of those who advocate the UK leaving the EU would argue that the risk of a relatively small reduction in the rate of GDP growth should be weighed against the potential wider constitutional benefits of not being in the EU, together with the freedom for the UK to negotiate its own trade deals across the world, which would then be possible with countries with which the EU does not currently have such deals.


24.Much has been made of the importance of trade deals. However, as has been pointed out, trade can, and does, continue between countries without trade deals being in place. For example, the EU has no trade deal with China, yet trade between China and the EU continues; and the EU and US are struggling to agree TTIP, yet while negotiations continue so too does the trade between the EU and US. However, what the economic modelling does is highlight the importance of agreeing a trade deal with the EU in the event of a Brexit. If no deal allowing UK firms access to EU markets were successfully agreed between the UK and EU in the event of a vote to leave, and there were no extension to the negotiating period after the two-year period for exit negotiations ended, trade would be conducted under the auspices of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Most Favoured Nation (MFN) rules. The average tariff applied by the EU to trade under MFN rules was 5.3% in 2015. Other things being equal, firms exporting into the EU (including the Republic of Ireland) from Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK would either have to increase their prices, reduce their costs or reduce their margins by the same amount in order to maintain their current position in the Single Market.27 The same, however, would apply to companies in the EU which wanted to export to the UK, because the same tariffs would presumably be applied. However, behind that 5.3% average, tariffs vary very significantly between types of product. Food and agricultural products in particular incur a much higher tariff. Whilst the average for non-agricultural products is 4.2%, for agriculture it is 12.2%. Furthermore, the average for agricultural products also hides significant variation. Some products incur only a modest tariff (primarily those products where the EU has historically had little production and has consequently relied on imports), but for others it is much higher. For dairy products, for instance, it is as high as 42.1% (we address agriculture specifically in Chapter 3). The UK would then have to consider whether to impose equivalent tariffs to level the playing field between EU and UK firms but at the risk of significant domestic price increases on imported goods. On the other hand, fewer imports would create gaps in markets which UK companies could seek to fill. Alternatively, it could allow EU firms to export to the UK on relatively favourable terms in order to allow UK consumers to benefit from lower prices, but at the risk of considerable potential damage to UK firms.

25.Perceptions about the possibility of a deal to allow access to the Single Market were decisive for many we spoke to in persuading them of the case to leave or remain. Those who are confident that a favourable deal that allows UK firms tariff-free access to the Single Market can be swiftly agreed are more confident about a future outside the EU and typically emphasise the economic incentives for doing so. For example, Dr Graham Gudgin, an economist in favour of leaving the EU, emphasised the importance of a trade deal: “I assume it would be possible to make a free trade arrangement. It would be in the interests of other EU Member States to do so, but it is very important that such an arrangement is made”.28 Another economist, Professor Neil Gibson, Director of the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre, agreed:

In terms of how we trade and who we trade with, I do not see any reason that should change massively, because it is not in anyone’s interests to set up any anti-trade agreements or trade tariffs that would make it more difficult. It is not going to help the businesses in either economy. If we were talking only about Northern Ireland, it might be an issue, but the UK is such a huge trading partner for the EU that it is in nobody’s interest for that trade agreement not to be relatively free and beneficial for both.29

26.Certainly the UK would nominally be in a good position to agree a deal with the EU. The UK has a trade deficit of £68 billion with the EU so there is clearly scope for a mutually beneficial agreement and incentives on both sides for such a deal to be concluded.30 The incentive to reach agreement should be particularly strong as the UK is one of the largest economies in the world—fifth, by GDP31—and the EU has concluded trade agreements with much smaller economies. As Dr Gudgin put it: “It is very hard to see why [the EU] would not have a free trade agreement with the UK if they have a free trade agreement with Canada. Their previous free trade agreement was with South Korea. The EU believes in free trade; I cannot see why it would not believe in free trade with the UK”.32 And as the UK would already be compliant with EU regulations, the lengthy technical wrangling that characterises most trade deals would be unnecessary.

27.However, those less confident that a deal can be quickly and easily made on terms favourable to the UK highlight potential problems. They emphasise the political nature of any trade agreement. Whilst there may be an economic incentive for the EU to agree a deal with the UK, there is also a strong incentive for the EU to ensure that the UK is not perceived to be benefiting from leaving. In particular, it is unlikely that a deal will be reached that allows the UK all of the benefits of full access to the Single Market but also allows it to escape any of the associated costs. Andy Bagnall, the CBI’s Campaigns Director, thought that “it is hard to see why European negotiations on the other side of the table in the event of a Brexit would offer us a package with none of the costs but all of the advantages”.33 For that reason, it is suggested that full access to the Single Market will almost certainly be contingent on a high degree of regulatory compliance as well as a continued contribution to the EU’s budget. This is the case for members of the European Economic Area such as Norway, although Norway does not have to comply with the EU rules in those areas in which it does not have Single Market access, such as agriculture and fisheries.34

28.The CBI also noted that, whilst unfavourable trade deals can be agreed quite easily, mutually beneficial ones can take many years.35 It is worth noting, though, that rules work both ways. Both sides in a trade negotiation can insist on both tariff and non-tariff conditions being in place. It would then be for the two sides to agree which rules form part of the deal. One of the reasons TTIP negotiations are taking so long is in part because the US is insisting on certain rules being in place.

29.We have already noted the mutual importance of the trade relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Such is the level of cross-border economic integration it was suggested to us that, in the event of a Brexit, some sort of free trade deal be negotiated with the Republic of Ireland that would allow the status quo of unimpeded commerce, shopping, leisure and commuting across the border to continue. The FSB told us of a local member who wanted to leave the EU who predicted that, after a vote to leave, “[…] an agreement would rapidly be reached on trade with the Republic […] He is looking at it from the point of view of a pragmatic business person and feels that it is in people’s interests, so it will happen”.36 Given that the main part of the purpose of undertaking this inquiry was to expose facts surrounding the EU referendum, we should make it clear that, under present rules, this cannot happen if the UK votes to leave. The Republic cannot negotiate a trade deal independently of the other members of the EU. Whilst Dan Mulhall, Ireland’s Ambassador to the UK, assured us that the Republic would push for a deal that would disrupt the trade with the UK as little as possible, it “will be determined by the qualified majority voting of the Member States, all of whom have very different interests, preoccupations and relationships with the UK”.37

30.In Brussels, we were told that there are a range of possible outcomes from any post-Brexit trade negotiations. To date, access to the Single Market has increased in accordance with regulatory compliance and a contribution to the EU budget. High access might be an arrangement along the lines currently enjoyed by Norway which enjoys full market access for goods other than fisheries and agriculture-related products. In return, Norway accepts EU regulations in those areas and makes a substantial contribution to the EU budget. It does not have access to the free trade agreements agreed by the EU. At the other end of the spectrum is the agreement between the EU and Canada. Canada enjoys tariff-free access to the Single Market for most manufactured goods (there are some remaining, but they will be phased out). However, a number of agricultural tariffs remain and there is only limited access for services. Canadian firms exporting to the EU are bound by its regulatory standards, as are all exporters required to comply with the rules of whichever market they wish to serve.

31.Northern Ireland will obviously be covered by UK-level negotiations. But Professor Gibson noted that an arrangement that benefits the UK may not be similarly beneficial for Northern Ireland: “Let us not forget that Northern Ireland is a very small part of the UK and, in going into those trade negotiations, one of the risks would be that its interests […] may not be the UK’s. There may be other priorities for the UK: to get the trade agreements that are most beneficial to, say, the financial services industry first. Northern Ireland’s ability to be a player in those negotiations, as a very small part of the UK, may have some sectoral ramifications on Northern Ireland that are worth thinking about”.38

32.It should be noted that, when we discuss “trade” in this section, we are largely referring to exports. Companies that trade with the EU account for over 6.5 million jobs, although clearly not all of those jobs depend on the exports.39 However, because it is typically larger firms that export, only around 11% of British businesses actually export at all and only a proportion of those export to the EU.40 However, all business are affected by EU directives, regulations and European Court of Justice judgments. It is therefore important to take into account the views of those people who run businesses that do not export to the EU, yet are affected by UK’s membership of it.

33.It should also be noted that, since the UK joined the EU, the unemployment rate has been consistently and stubbornly higher in almost every year of our membership than it was in any year before the UK joined, going back to 1940. This does mean that all factors should be taken into account when discussing this matter, and not just the workings of present, and the prospects for future trade deals.41

34.What sort of post-Brexit trading relationship the UK might negotiate with the EU is the question that needs to be answered before any robust evaluation of the likely impact of leaving the EU can be made. For many people, it is the main question that will determine which way they decide to vote.42 It became apparent during our visit to Brussels that there is an unwillingness to discuss options for UK-EU relations in the event of a vote to leave ahead of the referendum. This is probably inevitable. The future relationship will be the product of a negotiation process between the UK and the remainder of the EU. Nobody has the authority to state in advance of that negotiation process what the outcome will be, including the extent of Single Market access for UK firms and the extent of regulatory compliance. However, it means that one of the most important questions in the minds of many remains unanswered and votes will be cast on the perception of risk and the balance of probability.

35.Clearly negotiations cannot exclusively prioritise the interests of Northern Ireland to the detriment of other parts of the UK. But neither can UK-level interests be allowed to dominate the UK’s bargaining position at the expense of Northern Ireland. In the event of a vote to leave the EU, it is imperative that Northern Ireland’s economic priorities, such as gaining a good deal for agricultural and manufactured goods, are given due prominence by the UK Government in any subsequent negotiations. However, the likelihood of this cannot be guaranteed.

Foreign Direct Investment

36.FDI is a significant priority for Northern Ireland because it lacks a critical mass of large homegrown firms and so is particularly reliant on foreign investment to increase capacity and create employment. It is no surprise then that the Northern Ireland Executive has made improving Northern Ireland’s attractiveness to foreign investment a major plank of its economic strategy.43 The decision to reduce corporation tax from 2018 was a recognition that FDI is crucial for Northern Ireland and a response to fears that it was missing out on foreign investment to the Republic of Ireland.

37.The UK is the most successful EU member at attracting FDI (see Figure 2). It holds $1.6 trillion (18%) of the EU’s total FDI stock of $8.8 trillion. France and Germany attract a comparable amount of EU-derived FDI—investment originating from other EU members. However, EU-derived FDI accounts for only around half of the UK’s total whereas, for the other EU members, it accounts for a much higher proportion.44 In other words, the UK has a much better record than other EU Member States in attracting FDI from non-EU sources.

38.According to UKTI, inward investment into the UK reached a record level of new projects (1058) in 2014–15, an increase of 29% on 2013–14. There was also an increase in expansion projects to 740, as well as 190 mergers. England dominates as a venue for inward investment, with 796 of these projects going to London, and 905 to the rest of England. Northern Ireland, which has 2.9% of the UK population, received 48 projects—2.4% of the total. However, the average number of jobs created per project in Northern Ireland was the highest at 83, almost double the figure for the rest of the UK, and representing 4.7% of total new jobs (4,007 out of 84,603).45 Between 2006–7 and 2010–11, 120 foreign firms made greenfield inward investments in Northern Ireland, creating 12,000 jobs.46 This has been achieved whilst the Republic has had a lower rate of corporation tax.47

Figure 2: UK FDI 2012

Source: HM Treasury, The Long term Impact of EU membership and the Alternatives, CM250, April 2016, para 1.69

39.FDI Intelligence note that four factors are crucial in determining FDI. Their modelling suggests that corporation tax, labour costs, market size, and the existing concentration of similar foreign firms (‘agglomeration’) account for over 75% of the variation in FDI between cities and regions.48 On the basis of these four factors, losing access to the Single Market would deter foreign investment. But agglomeration effects would continue and corporation tax and labour costs would be affected by domestic policies rather than EU membership. Indeed, corporation tax is already being lowered to 18% from 2018. In 2015, research by Ernst and Young did, however, argue that access to the Single Market was a significant factor in attracting FDI to the UK. 72% of the investors they surveyed included it as a factor in the attractiveness of the UK to foreign investors. This could be mitigated with a favourable trade deal. However, the uncertainty over future UK-EU relations in the event of a Brexit would, their research suggested, lead 31% of foreign investors to either freeze or reduce their investment until that picture is clearer.49

40.As with trade, accurately predicting the impact of a vote to leave on Northern Ireland’s FDI is difficult. FDI Intelligence data contrasts the motivations of foreign firms investing in NI with those investing globally.50 The availability of a skilled workforce was the most significant factor in attracting investment in Northern Ireland by a considerable margin, followed by the availability of government support. These factors were both considerably less important globally, where proximity to markets and potential for market growth were the most common. The data is summarised in Figure 3 below.

Figure 3: Factors attracting FDI to Northern Ireland

41.Anything that detrimentally affects the flow of FDI into Northern Ireland is clearly a concern. It would risk damaging trade, productivity and employment. What is less clear is the extent to which leaving the EU would do so. Access to markets is a significant factor in determining the attractiveness of a location for FDI and a Brexit would carry that risk. However, a free trade agreement of some sort would go a long way towards maintaining that market access. However, a Brexit would also increase the scope of the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive to introduce policies that would make Northern Ireland attractive in other respects. For example, EU rules prevent the UK Government from setting a lower rate of Corporation Tax in Northern Ireland. The responsibility has had to be devolved, which has taken time to achieve, whereas if the rate had been lowered, say, five years ago, much more FDI could potentially have been attracted to Northern Ireland by now. Furthermore, EU rules prevent the UK government from lowering the rate of VAT for tourism in Northern Ireland, which is another tax that compares unfavourably with the rate in the Republic of Ireland, where tourism appears to have been boosted by the lowering of their rate of VAT.

42.Here, the contrast between the factors which attract foreign firms to invest in Northern Ireland and global trends is notable. The two most important factors for investors were the availability of a skilled workforce and the availability of government support. In addition to a free trade deal allowing a high level of market access, the risk of a Brexit to Northern Ireland’s FDI can be mitigated by ensuring that investment in education, skills and training and a supportive public policy environment is maintained.

EU migration to Northern Ireland

43.Migration has been one of the most prominent aspects of the national debate on EU membership.51 However, migration to Northern Ireland has not been on the scale seen in London and the South East or some of the large cities in the rest of the UK.52

44.The employers’ organisations we spoke to generally welcomed the ability to recruit from outside Northern Ireland. Acknowledging the sensitivities surrounding mass migration, the CBI told us that many businesses in Northern Ireland relied on ‘pan-European skills transfer’ in sectors such as life sciences and biotechnology and other high technology sectors.53 The IoD reiterated this point: 43.7% of respondents to their survey said that they employed EU nationals. However, these were not necessarily in the high technology sectors emphasised by the CBI. The IoD found that the skills that migrants were employed for was much broader, and included nursing, ICT, technical, low and semi-skilled, engineering, languages, managerial, shopfloor, and hospitality.54

45.Clearly then, employers in Northern Ireland have found the ability to recruit from beyond the local pool of labour useful. Migration may have been a means to supplement Northern Ireland’s limited skills base with high technology skills from elsewhere. However, it seems that it is not confined to scarce skills in high-tech industries but is also being used in less high-skill sectors.

46.The analysis by Oxford Economics suggested that free movement of people is less of an issue, at least in economic terms, for Northern Ireland than it is for the UK as a whole. Sectors that have benefited from migration, such as financial and professional services, are rather less significant for the economy of Northern Ireland than they are for the UK as a whole.55

The views of business

47.Most of the main Northern Irish business organisations have not been prepared to back the case to remain or to leave the EU. The Northern Irish branches of the Institute of Directors and the Federation of Small Businesses and the Northern Ireland Chambers of Commerce have all reiterated their national organisations’ position and declined to advocate either remaining or leaving the EU.56 Only the Northern Ireland CBI has clearly stated that it favours remaining, reiterating the CBI’s national position.57 Sectoral trade associations such as the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association and the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association have been more willing to advocate publicly remaining in the EU,58 as has the Ulster Farmers’ Union (see Chapter 3).

48.The unwillingness of the main business organisations unambiguously to advocate a particular position reflects a lack of consensus amongst their members on the issue. However, there seems to be a prevailing mood to remain in the EU amongst Northern Ireland’s businesses (though, given the relatively small number of responses from Northern Ireland in the surveys, caution needs to be exercised in drawing conclusions about the views of business).59 Although they have not taken a position, the Chambers of Commerce and IoD—the two business organisations that typically represent larger firms in Northern Ireland and who have gathered NI-specific survey results—both reported that a significant majority of respondents preferred to remain in the EU. The IoD reported 74.4% wanted to remain and 17.5% to leave. Uncertainty about the future trading relationship with the EU, the border with the Republic and the impact on FDI were all cited as reasons for remaining, whilst concerns about the future trajectory of the EU and freedom from constraints and regulation were cited as reasons for voting to leave.60 The Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce reported stronger support—81%—for remaining in the EU and 11% for leaving.61 They reported members’ concerns that Northern Ireland would be isolated outside the EU, that the border with the Republic would be affected, trade with the EU would become prohibitively costly, and the loss of EU funds as reasons for remaining in the EU. The potential fiscal windfall from retaining money that currently goes to the EU was cited as a reason to leave.62

49.However, support for retaining EU membership is certainly not universal amongst businesses. Discussing the views of his members, Roger Pollen of the FSB emphasised that, in spite of a popular tendency to assume that business is uniformly pro-Europe, it is not a “single cohesive block”; the small businesses his organisation represents hold a wide range of opinion and were certainly not united in the remain camp.63 The FSB found that 54.2% of respondents favoured remaining in the EU compared with 32.3% who wanted to leave.64

16 The Economic Impact of EU Membership, Standard Note SN/EP/6730, House of Commons Library, 2013, p 5.

17 Q8

18 HM Treasury, HM Treasury Analysis: The Long-Term Economic Impact of EU Membership and the Alternatives, Cm 9250, April 2016, p 85–93

19 S Dhingra et al, The UK Treasury analysis of ‘The long-term economic impact of EU membership and the alternatives’: CEP Commentary, Centre for Economic Performance Paper, CEPBREXIT04, April 2016

20 L Budd, The Consequences for the Northern Ireland Economy from a United Kingdom exit from the European Union, Briefing Note CETI/OU 2/15, March 2015

21 Q3 [Leslie Budd]

22 Oxford Economics receives some of its funding from EU sources

23 Oxford Economics, The Economic Implications of a UK Exit from the EU for Northern Ireland, 2016

24 Oxford Economics, The Economic Implications of a UK Exit from the EU for Northern Ireland, 2016, p 8

25 EU0018 (IoD)

26 See A Barret et al, Scoping the Possible Economic Implications of a Brexit on Ireland, ESRI Research Series No. 48, November 2015

27 Details of tariffs are included in WTO, World Tariff Profiles 2015, Geneva WTO, p 6

28 Q2

30 ONS Statistical Bulletin, Balance of Payments: Oct to Dec and Annual 2015, 31 March 2016, Tables B and C

31 World Bank, World Development Indicators, 2016

32 Q22 [Dr Graham Gudgin]

33 Q559 [Andy Bagnall]

34 The Director General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, John McGrane, noted the problematic nature of the Norway model, e.g. an EU levy on food and fish exports from Norway. He suggested that: “this is the kind of scenario that can happen when you begin to move away from the status quo that we know about.” Q69

35 Q575 [Andy Bagnall]

36 Q203 [Roger Pollen]

41 Unemployment rose steeply from the mid-1970s. See Office of National Statistics, Time Series: Unemployment, 18 May 2016

42 See Ipsos MORI, Economy and immigration key issues for Britons in the EU referendum, Ipsos MORI Political Monitor, April 2016

44 HM Treasury, The Long term Impact of EU membership and the Alternatives, Cm 9250, April 2016, para 1.69

45 UKTI, Inward Investment Report 2014/15, June 2015, p.10-11

47 Corporate tax rates in Northern Ireland have been brought into line with those in the Republic. This will take effect in 2018.

49 Ernst and Young, UK Attractiveness Survey 2015, 2015, p 4

50 From Daniel Donnelly, A Review of the Literature on Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment NIA, Briefing Paper 10/15, November 2014

51 Recent opinion poll data suggests immigration was second to the economy in determining respondent’s vote. See Ipsos MORI, Economy and immigration key issues for Britons in the EU referendum, Ipsos MORI Political Monitor, April 2016

52 The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Mr Ben Wallace MP, noted: “It is far more complex than simply saying that the EU is the cause of all the immigration problems.” Q818

53 Q555 [Judith Totten]

55 Oxford Economics, The Economic implications of a UK Exit from the EU for Northern Ireland, February 2016, p 6

56 The British Chambers of Commerce continues to maintain formal neutrality, in spite of the controversy surrounding the suspension and subsequent resignation of its Director General over his Eurosceptic views.

57 The UK CBI has received EU money. See Qq592–593

59 The IOD’s received responses from 214 of its members in Northern Ireland, the FSB 96. IoD Northern Ireland EU referendum Survey, March 2016; Verve Partners, A Study of FSB Members’ Views on UK Membership of the European Union, September 2015.

61 The BCC has received money from the UK Government which supports remaining in the EU.

64 Verve Partners, A Study of FSB Members’ Views on UK Membership of the European Union, September 2015. The FSB emphasise that, particularly for small businesses, the personal and commercial views of Europe can become blurred and that views of the impact on business will be coloured by respondents’ personal views.

© Parliamentary copyright 2015

25 May 2016