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'Pre-tremors of Brexit effect' has not yet hit economic and job rates, says Donohoe

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has sought to downplay the immediate threat of a no deal Brexit by saying he has yet to see "pre-tremors of the Brexit effect" hitting our economic and jobs rates.

Mr Donohoe made the comment despite re-iterating the fact Britain's decision to quit the EU next month is certain to have a significant impact on "future investment decisions" in this country.

Speaking at Government Buildings alongside Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty and junior minister for the office of public works Kevin 'Boxer' Moran, Mr Donohoe said there is legitimate concern over the Brexit fallout.

However, saying the latest Central Statistics Office figures show 1,200 new jobs are being made available in Ireland every week and new tax receipt returns, he said the country has yet to feel any financial pinch from the UK-EU divorce.

"In truth looking at the quarter four figures [October to December last year] I couldn't say, for now, that we are looking at the pre-tremors of a Brexit effect.

"If I look at what happened in quarter four, particularly in terms of full-time employment as a share of overall employment, it's still pointing to an economy that is performing well.

"And if look at those figures and combine them with our January tax returns that also included trading across the Christmas period, it shows that up to this point it may be a case that Brexit is affecting future investment decisions but the figures don't indicate at the moment that's having an effect on current consumption," he said.

The comment has been seen as a further attempt by Government to calm fears of a no deal Brexit and to reassure the public that the economy and job levels will be protected as well as possible.

However, it will be noted that any Brexit impact or economic slowdown is more likely to be seen from next month onwards when any fallout turns from theory and into personal finance-hitting reality.