Brexit fans are keen on the “£500 million” figure that would apparently be the annual saving to Northern Ireland of leaving the EU.
Of course, actually this is the proportion by population of the UK’s contribution, which does not then take account of the rebate, CAP, CFP, infrastructural funding, peace programmes and cross-border project funds. Then there is the point of “Brexit” – our “own” border control and trade deals – all of which the UK would now have to administer alone, meaning the recruitment and training of lots more bureaucrats. That is before we get to the cost of tariffs – which would take up to £1.5b out of the Northern Ireland economy (three times more than the initial but not actual “saving”).
But none of that is the question. The question concerns the fact that the UK as a stable EU economy can currently borrow money over 10 years at an interest rate of under 2%. However, ratings agencies have clarified that the uncertainty of leaving the EU would see this rise. Already more of our tax goes to repaying interest than to policing. This gap would rise further.
Northern Ireland would not gain from any “saving” (there is no saving in our case, and anyway Europe is an excepted matter so there is no reason to believe this would go to devolved administrations), and would of course lose considerably from the withdrawal of payments, infrastructure grants and programme funding. But on top of that households, already forced to pay more for goods due to tariffs, would need to contribute more in tax to maintain public spending at current levels because the cost of government borrowing would rise.
Actually there isn’t a question here. “Brexit” would cost every man, woman and child in Northern Ireland. End of.