Cliff Taylor: Brexit strictures neatly navigated by Republic to date

Trade flow changes likely long-lasting and deep with article 16 threat constantly in air

Imports from Britain to Ireland have fallen sharply, exports from Ireland to Britain have held up and cross-Border trade has increased significantly.  Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

Imports from Britain to Ireland have fallen sharply, exports from Ireland to Britain have held up and cross-Border trade has increased significantly. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

Textbooks suggest that economies and those who operate in them adjust to changing circumstances and incentives. And we have indeed seen major changes in the way many businesses are organised due to the Covid-19 shock. But the fallout from another event – Brexit – presents an extraordinary case study of the speed with which export and import patterns alter and businesses adjust in response to changes in the trade regime.

Britain left the EU single market and customs union at the start of last year; Northern Ireland remained in the single market for goods and, under the Northern Ireland protocol, follows some EU customs rules.

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