Analysis > June 2016

Counting the cost of Brexit for science

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent “It’s a disaster”. That was Nobel Prize winning physicist Peter Higgs’ response when I asked him for his reaction to the result of the Brexit referendum, just hours after it was delivered last Friday. And he wasn’t alone in his views. Indeed a few weeks earlier, Professor Higgs had been among 13 Nobel Prize winning scientists who had warned losing EU funding of science would put British research “in jeopardy”. “Inside the EU, …

Five issues to watch after the Brexit bombshell

The Single Market Perhaps the biggest issue facing Ireland and the UK following the Brexit vote is the ability of Britain to retain access to the Single Market. This allows for the free movement of goods without the imposition of tariffs. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Britain cannot cherry pick the benefits of the EU without making its own contribution. “Those, for example, who want free access to the Single Market,” said Ms Merkel, “will in return have …

Brexit Britain … where next?

London on Thursday was hammered with rain. Not just a few summer showers but full on downpours. Tube lines were flooded. Train lines were closed. Traffic ground to a standstill. The glass tower of The Shard building disappeared from view. Two polling stations in Richmond were moved due to flooding. It was, in retrospect, a dramatic backdrop to the decision of voters that day to end Britain’s membership of the European Union. The United Kingdom and the rest of the …

Britain votes to leave EU: What does it mean for Ireland?

Politically, socially and economically the decision of the UK to leave the European Union will have huge ramifications for Ireland, writes RTÉ Business Editor David Murphy. But the most immediate impact will be felt by Irish businesses and their employees. Sterling Sterling is falling rapidly against the euro and fell 8% in the hours after the result became clear. It is safe to assume sterling will remain very weak for a considerable period. That will make Irish exports to the …

The reluctant Taoiseach

Today is the 125th anniversary of the birth of a remarkable man, the third head of an independent Irish government, John A Costello. If you don’t know much about him, you’re not alone. He has been sadly overlooked, despite being Taoiseach twice, and serving longer in that office than any subsequent Fine Gaeler – although his record will be broken if Enda Kenny is still Taoiseach on 19 April next year. I have an interest to declare: I wrote a …

Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn – an inspired play or big gamble?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent As takeovers go, Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn is pretty massive. In fact, it is Microsoft’s largest ever acquisition – and over the years it has bought quite a few other companies. The deal will see the software firm pay $196 per share for the professional social network. That’s a tasty 49.5 per cent premium on LinkedIn’s closing share price last Friday. Its shareholders must be rubbing their hands in glee. Last year LinkedIn’s …

Yanis Varoufakis comes to town. But did he help Greece?

Every year I make a point of attending the Dalkey Book Festival in Co Dublin, writes RTÉ’s Business Editor David Murphy. Run by economist David McWilliams and his highly-motivated wife Sian Smyth, the event has broadened from its literary origins to include a range of interesting speakers from the world of politics and economics. This year, one of the big name guests is the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis next Thursday. He is engaging, smart and controversial. This time …

Mario Draghi is a socialist (sort of)

OK, as an effort at click-bait this headline may not the most convincing, but now that I’ve got your attention, let me update you on this week’s Brussels Economic Forum (which definitely ain’t a click-bait term!), where investment was a recurring theme. The boss of the European Central Bank was able to step away from the usual lines about cross checks and five-year inflation expectations to look at some of the wider issues confronting the European Economy. In particular things …

Yahoo – it’s Fiscal Space time again!

So the economy is growing like topsy, the taxes are rolling in, the deficit and the government debt are falling rapidly, as is unemployment.  What could possibly go wrong? Well plenty, says the Fiscal Council – from Brexit, to a changed corporate tax regime in America, to simple lower growth, all of which could severely knock  what is still a rather delicate set of government accounts.  (They are too polite to mention the ever present risk of dumb-ass politicians making …