Every reform aimed at reducing the barriers to economic integration will yield a result, however modest. The big prize of a much larger and more prosperous economy across the island requires unification.
The division of labour is the cause of growing prosperity over decades and more. The size of the home market limits the scope for that division of labour on national terrain, and increasing the home market increases the scope for greater prosperity.
In addition, all economies are also obliged to operate in a global market to some extent. The most important international market for the RoI is the EU. The addition of a home market of 25% or more to the existing RoI economy increases its capacity to both compete in and integrate with the wider EU economy.
The economies of the RoI and NI have clear synergies. These occur in terms of competition/diversification, entirely new capacity and in the balance of the public and private sectors. These are all significant factors that, if the potential is realised through investment, could substantially raise the prosperity of the whole island.
*The author is an economist and has worked as an economic consultant for the past 10 years. Formerly he published economic and financial market analysis and forecasts following a period when he was employed in a number of roles as an economist, including as Senior International Economist with Citibank in London. He has written extensively the Irish economy(ies).