Trade between Dublin and Great Britain has decreased in the aftermath of Brexit whilst business with the EU has seen a rise, a new report has revealed.
Exporters and importers in Ireland have been avoiding Britain since 1 January, causing a drop in trade by a fifth – whilst freight flow with the European Union is up by over a third.
Since Brexit, there have been 37 new sea routes between Dublin, France and Benelux nations – up from only seven before UK’s exit from the bloc, according to The Guardian.
‘Impact of Brexit has become clear’ – Dublin Port
A report by Dublin Port revealed only half of its containers now come from Great Britain, down from 64 per cent before Brexit.
In total, there has been a 36 per cent increase in trade with Europe and a 21 per cent drop in trade with Great Britain in the first nine months of this year.
Eamonn O’Reilly, the Dublin Port chief executive , said: “After nine months, the impact of Brexit on the profile of Dublin Port’s trade has become clear.”
O’Reilly, who suggested the current situation will become a “permanent feature” of trade, added that the average size of a container’s load has reduced after “operational efficiencies which the Single European Market had facilitated in trade with Britain have been removed because of Brexit.”
Trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland also sees rise – but hurts UK
Earlier this month, Brexit minister David Frost admitted trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland has also gone up since Brexit – but suggested it cannot keep benefitting from the EU’s single market, as this would hurt the UK.
Speaking on Policy Exchange’s Brexit Panel on the fringes of Tory party conference, Frost admitted supply chains are being “reordered quite quickly” and trade between Northern Ireland the the Republic has increased in both directions based on both British and Irish figures.
But he suggested things have to change: “People and businesses do respond very quickly to incentives and incidentally the other area where you see this is trade movements from Ireland across Great Britain into the rest of the EU, where the so-called ‘land bridge’ has sort of collapsed in the first nine months of this year.
“So that’s one reason why we can’t wait very long, things aren’t happening and it isn’t just theoretical.”
Frost’s comments came as Martin McTague, policy and advocacy chairman at the Federation of Small Business, warned the post-Brexit Irish trade success will “inevitably” weaken the links with Britain and “put pressure on the Union”.
And Dr Gerard Lyons, senior fellow at Policy Exchange, suggested Irish businesses are incentivised to collaborate north-south rather than with the rest of the UK, which is hitting Britain’s economy and will continue to do so if Westminster does not drag Northern Ireland away from the new system.