Value of North’s exports to UK nearly four times that to Republic
Future of the Border is one of the most vexed issues facing Brexit negotiations in Brussels
Goods going to Great Britain were worth one-and-a-half times the value of all Northern Ireland exports.
Sales from Northern Ireland to Britain were worth nearly four times the value of exports to the Republic of Ireland in 2016, new data revealed.
Sales of finished products to Britain relied upon cross-border trade in raw materials, the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) noted. Goods going to Britain were worth 1½ times the value of all the North’s exports.
The future of the Border is one of the most vexed issues facing Brexit negotiations in Brussels.
The report said: “The sale of finished products to Great Britain relies upon cross-border trade in raw materials and components through integrated supply chains, meaning trade with both Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland are vital to Northern Ireland’s economy.”
It said further research was needed to investigate supply-chain links between Northern Ireland and Britain.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has signalled a willingness to be flexible in Brexit negotiations around the Border.
Fears of a return to violence have been raised if the Belfast Agreement is damaged by the imposition of a hard border after Brexit.
The EU’s suggested solution to the problem – a common regulatory area for goods and customs with the rest of the EU – has so far been rejected by the UK as “annexing” Northern Ireland. – PA