And if you think the prospects for the UK economy look gloomy, look at Ireland. Our growth is predicted at 1%; Ireland's is currently headed for 0.5% and predicted to be 0%. With a dramatic fall in domestic consumption and a rise in unemployment due to the collapse of the bubble construction sector in Ireland. In the old days Ireland could have boosted exports by devaluing the Punt, but no longer. Msr Sarkozy has made it clear that Euro exchange rates are run for the benefit of
But let's remember that the Irish must hold off from voting 'Yes' to Lisbon until May 2010. Cameron's undertaking to hold a referendum in the UK is conditional on the Treaty not having been ratified across Europe.
Times are set to be hard here, but they'll be harder in Ireland. For generations, Irish men have come here to work. Now they'll be back again, and we should do everything we can to accommodate them. So bar owners, hire an Irishman not a Lithuanian. Homeowners, look for the Murphys and O'Connors in the yellow pages to fix your plumbing. Employers, send your job details to the local Catholic Club. And for the rest of us, eschew Tuscany and the Loire this year for Galway and Donegal. The Irish have done more than enough for this country in the past. It's time we started repaying.