Trade with Ireland takes a £3bn Brexit hit as UK exports drop by more than a fifth in less than a year
Exports from the UK to the Republic of Ireland crashed by more than a fifth since Brexit, according to new figures coming from Dublin.
Numbers published by Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that the value of goods imports from Great Britain fell by almost £3bn from January to November last year.
The drop in imports comes as cross-border trade continues to rise.
The main changes were increases in the exports of chemicals and related products and machinery and transport equipment, with a decrease in the exports of food and live animals. Imports from Great Britain were 16 per cent of the value of total imports in November 2021.
Interestingly, trade with Northern Ireland is thriving: imports from Northern Ireland to the Republic jumped by more than 64 per cent, while exports to north of the border also rose by more than 50 per cent.
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.