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Post-Brexit trade imbalance as exports from Ireland to GB soar


Exports from Ireland into Great Britain have soared in the first half of 2021 whilst GB exports across the Irish Sea have fallen. 

According to the Irish Central Statistics Office, exports to Great Britain (excluding NI) have risen 20% in the first six months of the year, rising by over €1 billion to €6.7bn. 

This means activity from Ireland into GB has overtaken activity flowing in the other direction, with GB exports falling by 32% to €5.3 billion. 

Food, live animals and manufactured goods have been hardest hit. 

Why has the balance shifted?

In a word – Brexit. 

The UK’s departure from the European Union and the single market has hit British exporters harder than their Irish counterparts due to border checks on shipments to the EU. However, for Irish and EU exporters into Britain, a more phased approach of checks has been implemented with the UK government opting for a 12-month transition period. 

Read more: UK signs new trade agreements, closes in on NZ deal

As a result, all food and plant exports into the EU from UK firms have been subject to sanitary and phytosanitary checks since the start of the year, whereas Irish businesses have not been subject to the same levels of red tape. 

If your business is still working to adapt to the post-Brexit trading environment, we can help. See our free Brexit Knowledge Bank and expert downloads and resources here

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