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Irish economy could contract in no-deal Brexit, PM says

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Irish economy could contract in no-deal Brexit, PM says
FILE PHOTO: Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) and Defence Minister Leo Varadkar speaks during a news conference after the European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir   -   Copyright  FRANCOIS LENOIR(Reuters)
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DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s fast growing economy could suddenly contract if Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal, a prospect that has become more likely, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday.

Ireland’s finance ministry reiterated its forecasts on Tuesday that gross domestic product growth would fall to anywhere between zero and 1% in 2020 if Britain crashes out of the bloc later this year, rather than growing by the forecast 3.3 percent if its neighbour secures an orderly Brexit.

“In a no-deal hard Brexit – in which case we won’t have to worry about the economy over-heating – it will slow down rapidly, even contract,” Varadkar told a conference, adding that he would publish an updated no-deal contingency plan next month setting out further actions to be taken between now and Oct. 31.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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