Monday, October 10, 2016
Despite the concept of a united Ireland being at the core of Irish political debate since partition in 1921, it is astonishing how little in-depth study has been done exploring what it would be like
How would the administration work? Would it involve any major societal changes? Would it be an economic success or basket case? A team of academics from Canada, Switzerland and the US have now tackled the economics question, and have modelled how a 32-county Ireland might fare economically. Their conclusions? Surprisingly good. Reunification could deliver a boon to the enlarged island state worth over €35 billion in eight years. And the North would benefit enormously, with more modest gains for the South. Dr Kurt Hübner from the University of British Colombia in Vancouver led the project, entitled Modelling Irish Unification. Hübner, originally from Germany, received his academic qualifications from the University of Berlin and is an expert on European affairs. He outlines the basis of the research that concluded that a united Ireland would be a winner on the economic sphere. The study required modelling to foresee how the dual economics might combine and that work was done by Renger van Nieuwkoon from Switzerland. Hübner and his colleagues were able to avail of their familiarity with similar work that had been done in Germany after reunification.