Reunification of Ireland 'five to 10 years down the road'
A LEADING economist has said that the reunification of Ireland is "five to 10 years down the road".
Dr Adam S Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, also said he believes there is "no good option" for the future of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
A former external member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee, Dr Posen said: "You either create a much stiffer economic border, rather than political border, which is only way to avoid smuggling disruption or other issues from an economic point of view.
"Or you do as you do now and have NI on the other side of an economic border that has enormous economic benefits to NI.
"Regrettably from an economic point of view, it’s very difficult to see it being sustained.
"Either the UK has to live with the fact that NI becomes much more attractive... and instead of levelling up, the particular zone with access to EU does better than rest of the country.
"Or you do huge amount of economic pain on the people of NI with a spillover to Irish people to maintain an economic border."
Speaking at a talk hosted by the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce and law firm Eversheds Sutherland, Dr Posen added: "Five to 10 years down the road, we’re looking at Irish unification because the economic forces at work just aren’t going to be reconcilable with the political situation."