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16 February 2022

Cross-border Irish trade has surged as British exports plummet

UK exports to Ireland have fallen by 13 per cent while those from Northern Ireland have surged by 65 per cent.

By Polly Bindman

Last year there was a huge spike in trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland, while imports from Great Britain plummeted, according to Ireland’s Central Statistics Office.

Highlighting the impact of Brexit on Ireland, the annual figures reveal that the value of goods imported from Northern Ireland to Ireland was almost €4bn (£3.35bn) — a huge increase of 65 per cent. Irish exports to Northern Ireland also rose by 54 per cent, or €1.3bn, to €3.7bn in 2021. 

While exports from Ireland to Great Britain also grew — by 17 per cent — imports fell by 13 per cent, from  €17.7bn to €15.4bn.

There is no official UK data available to quantify trade flow between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, making it hard to determine to what extent the increase in Irish trade is due to the barriers created by the Northern Ireland protocol of the Brexit agreement. The protocol allows goods to move across the Irish border without customs checks, which are carried out on shipments from Great Britain at Northern Irish ports instead.

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