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I would think that another factor would be the availability of money to support the poorer of the merged states. West Germany was (is) able to do this, and presumably South Korean would be able to do it if Korea united.

If Ireland united, where would the support for the previous NI come from, the EU?

by asdf on Tue Apr 27th, 2021 at 03:45:50 AM EST
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Some EU help may be forthcoming - from regional, CAP and peace funds - but nowhere near the €12 Billion p.a.  UK net subsidy. A Biden style administration might also contribute a little, but the heavy lifting would have to be done in Ireland where it represents 4% of (bloated) GDP and a lot more in terms of real disposable income. Not impossible, but not without significant impact on living standards generally.

Over the course of a few decades the integration of the two economies and governmental systems could yield some synergies and economies of scale, and there is no reason why, with more appropriate economic policies, N. Ireland couldn't come to be as economically successful as the Republic.

However time is running out for Ireland's corporate tax driven incentive package for MNC's to locate here, and they are the drivers of economic growth and government tax revenues. It's a bit like Scotland's oil running out - both parts of Ireland would have to develop new models of economic/tax growth to mitigate damage to living standards.

And all of this assumes that continued unrest in N. Ireland wouldn't create a huge disincentive to locate and invest here, not to mention the social and related financial costs. The protocol actual offers N. Ireland unique access to both UK and EU markets, and could be a huge unique selling point for investment there. However you an rely on unionist "leadership" and loyalist rioters to muck that up. Quelle surprise...

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Apr 27th, 2021 at 11:17:03 AM EST
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