CSO report reveals Ireland’s huge exposure to Brexit

Agency pulls together raft of headline indicators detailing Ireland’s involvement with the UK

The importance of the UK to the tourism industry in Ireland was also revealed by the CSO, with Britain accounting for 41%  of 3.5m incoming visits

The importance of the UK to the tourism industry in Ireland was also revealed by the CSO, with Britain accounting for 41% of 3.5m incoming visits


More than a fifth of Irish emigrants go to live there; it accounts for €33 billion of Irish exports and is responsible for about 40 per cent of all incoming visitors.

The UK’s importance to Ireland, socially and economically, is revealed in a new report by the Central Statistic Office (CSO), which pulls together a raft of existing data, illustrating Ireland’s significant exposure to Brexit.

The report showed that of the 76,200 emigrants which left Ireland this year, just over a fifth (21.8 per cent) settled in the UK.

The number of immigrants arriving in the Republic from the UK, meanwhile, was 13,800, which equated to 17 per cent of the 79,300 immigrants that came here, slightly up on previous years.

The report, entitled Brexit: Ireland and the UK in Numbers, revealed that as of 2011 there were 112,259 UK nationals resident in the Republic, equating to 2.5 per cent of the total population of the State.

In terms of trade, the Republic exported €15.6 billion (13.9 per cent) of goods exports to the UK last year, of which meat - principally beef - accounted for about €1.9 billion, the largest single component but there was also significant trade medical and pharmaceutical products; and organic chemicals.

The UK accounted for an even greater proportion of Irish service exports, taking roughly €18 billion (18 per cent) of the total, with computer and business services accounting for the lion’s share.

Conversely, Ireland imports about €29 billion worth of goods and services from the UK annually.


The figures also highlighted that the UK accounted for about €37 billion of incoming investment in Ireland in 2015, 4.6 per cent of the total.

The number of people employed in Irish-owned foreign affiliates was 307,999 in 2014, of which 86,180 (28 per cent) were located in the UK, while the turnover of Irish-owned foreign affiliates was €99 billion in 2014, and of this €37.6 billion (38 per cent) was in the UK.

The report noted that the value of Irish residents’ holdings of foreign securities was €1.9 billion at the end of December 2014, and UK-issued instruments accounted for €343 million, or 17.7 per cent, of the total holdings.

The importance of the UK to the Irish tourism industry was also highlighted, with Britain accounting for 41 per cent of 3.5 million incoming visits to Ireland each year.

The total expenditure (excluding fares) by non-residents on overseas trips to Ireland was €4.2 billion in 2015, and expenditure by visitors from Britain accounted for €971 million (23 per cent) of this.

In 2015 there were 7.1 million trips abroad by Irish residents, and more than a quarter (27.2 per cent) were to Britain, while 4.7 per cent were to Northern Ireland.

Second-hand cars

The number of second-hand (used) private cars registered was 51,663 in 2014, and most of these (97 per cent) had been sourced from the UK.

The CSO’s report will be followed up by a more extensive electronic publication containing all the tables from the report plus more detailed information.

The agency is also planning to launch a dedicated Brexit page on its website early next year which will track key indicators.

Similar to the CSO’s existing “key economic indicators” page, the new page will be created using information from the CSO databank and thus will always be up to date.