Goods imported from Ireland to Great Britain in the first 11 months of last year hit £11.2bn, an increase of more than 20 per cent, according to new figures released in Dublin.
Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) said the main changes were increases in the exports of chemicals and related products and machinery and transport equipment, with a decrease in the imports of food and live animals.
Irish exports to Great Britain accounted for 11 per cent of the country’s total exports.
Exports from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland also jumped, by more than 64 per cent, while exports to north of the border also rose by more than 50 per cent.
Exports to Northern Ireland from Ireland were £2.8bn in the period January to November 2021, an increase of £900m on the same period in 2020. The value of goods exports to Ireland for the period January to November 2021 was £126.7bn.
Jarlath O’Keefe, from Grant Thornton Ireland, said: “The CSO figures confirmed that there has been a significant increase in cross border trade on the island of Ireland in 2021 following Brexit.”
“This is due in part to businesses adjusting their supply chains to avoid the administrative burden associated with importing goods from Britain,” he added.
Exports from Ireland of electrical machinery, appliances and parts was the main driver, while exports of organic chemicals increased by more than 16 per cent.
Exports of food and live animals increased by more than 15 per cent, while exports of medical and pharmaceutical products decreased by £835m.
The figures come amid ongoing negotiations between the UK Government and the European Union over the future of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Unionists argue that the post-Brexit trade arrangements damage the union between Northern Ireland and Great Britain by placing a border in the Irish Sea.
Those trade arrangements have created economic barriers on the movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with the aim being to avoid the creation of a hard border on the island of Ireland.
It has achieved that by effectively keeping Northern Ireland within the EU’s single market for goods, an arrangement which has led to the checks on products crossing the Irish Sea from Great Britain.