Dublin officials: Ireland escapes trade blow of

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Ireland has not been as badly affected by the disruption of trade due to Brexit as it initially feared, according to government trade officials in Dublin, Euractiv reports.

Anne Coleman Dunne told the Oireachtas Committee on Trade, Enterprise and Employment on Wednesday (March 9th) that “Brexit was not the calamitous event we all feared, and it can be largely attributed to the level of preparedness of Irish companies for the trade relationship that has changed with the United Kingdom following Brexit. “

Despite fears that Ireland would suffer the biggest economic losses of any EU country as a result of the UK leaving the EU and have an economic impact of between 0.8% and 1% of GDP, its trade volumes have been resilient.

While UK imports to Ireland have fallen by 13% since 2020, according to the Irish Central Statistical Office (CSO), intra-Irish trade has risen by 60% in the first year after the UK left the EU single market.

The CSO has estimated that goods worth almost € 4 billion have been exported from Northern Ireland to the Republic in 2021, up 65% from 2020.

Coleman-Dunn, an official in the Department of Enterprise and Trade, warned that “Brexit has changed the trade relationship between the UK and Ireland forever and the full extent of these changes will become fully apparent over time.”

Irish exports to Northern Ireland have also increased by 54% to EUR 3.7 billion since the entry into force of the Northern Ireland Protocol in January 2021. The Protocol, which imposed customs controls on goods traveling from The UK in Northern Ireland, but maintaining the province in the EU’s single market for goods, has given its exporters a competitive advantage over UK traders, who now face border controls for all goods traveling to and from the UK. United to the EU.

While the EU immediately introduced customs controls on goods arriving from the UK when it left the single market in January 2021, the UK government has postponed the introduction of its own border controls on EU goods and now intends to introduce them in stages by November .

“Although for many companies, Brexit is over, this is not the case for the agri-food sector, and companies in this sector need to continue to prepare for UK import controls,” said Coleman Dunn.

However, there is also continuing uncertainty about the fate of the protocol, with no sign that talks between European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and UK Secretary of State Liz Truss will lead to an agreement before the Northern Ireland Assembly to enter the purdah period before the May assembly elections.

Margaret Hearty, CEO of InterTradeIreland, told Irish lawmakers that uncertainty “has a diminishing effect on investment” on both sides of the Irish border.