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Imports from Britain have dropped by over €900 million since Brexit

Meanwhile, Britain accounted for just 7% of exports from Ireland.

Image: PA

IMPORTS TO IRELAND from Britain dropped by more than €900 million in January following the end of the Brexit transition period.

New data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed a 65% drop – €906 million – to €497 million in January compared with the same month last year.

The beginning of 2021 marked the end of the Brexit transition period, bringing an end to the free movement of goods between Britain and European Union member states.

CSO senior statistician Orla McCarthy said: “Traders reported that a combination of factors contributed to the large reduction in imports from Great Britain in January 2021. These included the challenges of complying with customs requirements.

“Other factors identified by traders were stockpiling of goods in Q4 2020 in preparation for Brexit, substitution with goods from other countries, and a reduction in trade volumes due to the impact of Covid-19 related restrictions throughout January.”

The largest decrease was in the imports of live animals, falling by 75% – or €187 million – to €62 million.

It was followed by mineral fuel imports such as coal and gas, which fell 71% – or €139 million – to 57 million.

Chemicals, machinery and transport equipment also saw significant drops.

Exports to Britain also fell, by 14% – or €149 million – to €946 million.

Britain accounted for just 7% of exports from Ireland.

The largest declines were in exports of food and live animals, which fell by 33% – or €92 million – to €188 million.

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Machinery and transport equipment decreased by €106 million to €101 million, a decline of 51%.

But chemicals and related products increased by 56%, up €157 million to €437 million.

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Since 1 January, all trade in goods with Britain is treated as non-EU trade.

This brings considerable red tape that has caused significant delays for hauliers at ports.

During the Brexit transition period, trade rules remained the same as when the UK was an EU member state.

However, since that period ended at the beginning of 2021, incoming trade from Britain has remained persistently low.

Customs officials say Brexit alone is not to blame for this, with high levels of stockpiling and the coronavirus pandemic also contributing.

But the Department of Transport has voiced its concerned, saying it would like to see trade volumes pick up quicker.

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