Brexit Britain has received a massive boost after UK exports of goods to Ireland soared to consecutive monthly records in June and July – shutting down doom-mongering from Remainers. The latest Trade Monitor from global financial services firm Ebury has analyzed the latest data from the UK Government. The figures show £2.861billion and £2.693billion worth of goods traveled into Ireland through those two months respectively, as trade with the UK’s closest Euroepan Union neighbor defined post-Brexit tensions.
Surging exports of fuels were a predominant driver in the latest increases, with volumes more than trebling to £690million in July 2022 compared to £194million in the same month of the previous year.
The latest Trade Monitor also shows exports of chemicals have been substantially above the 12-month average in the past two months, according to Ebury. It represents a significant bounce back in trade between the UK and Ireland after exports had sunk to a low of just £1billion in January 2021.
This had been the first full month that Brexit came into full effect and immediately followed the end of the transition period between the UK and EU, with exports consistently ticking up since then.
Ebury said imports of goods have fallen over the past few months, “but had been tracking significantly higher, in line with exports”. In April 2022, import volumes surged to a record high of £1.6 billion, “and have since remained comfortably above average levels”.
Jack Sirett, Head of Dealing at Ebury, said that trading relationships between the two countries remain “robust” – despite the impact fears following the end of the transition period and ongoing issues between the UK and Ireland.
He also called for “clarity, security and stability” in negotiations between the UK and EU on post-Brexit trading arrangements in Northern Ireland in order for the current growth in the relationship “to be sustained or even accelerated”
Mr Sirett commented: “Ireland is the UK’s closest geographic neighbor and consequently an extremely important trading partner.
“Following the end of the Brexit transition period and ongoing difficulties around trade between the UK and Ireland, it was thought that imports and exports may suffer as a result. But evidently trading links between the two countries remain robust.
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“The energy crisis has significantly impacted trading volumes this year as countries rush to fill up storage. The UK is playing an important role as the first point of contact for LNG imports into Europe from the US, Qatar and other countries before funnelling on supplies to continental Europe and Ireland.
“Negotiations between the EU and the UK around the Northern Ireland border remain ongoing – clarity, security and stability around this issue will be very important if the current growth in this relationship is to be sustained or even accelerated.”
The latest trade boost for Brexit Britain comes with signs UK and EU officials are willing to agree on a solution surrounding the contentious Northern Ireland Protocol.
The protocol was agreed between the two sides as part of the Withdrawal Agreement and aimed to avoid a hard border with Ireland post-Brexit, but the arrangements have created trade barriers on goods being shipped from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
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But in a sign of a possible breakthrough, European Commission spokesman Daniel Ferrie said the two sides will meet this week for technical level talks, adding the EU will approach them “constructively” and it remains “committed to finding joint solutions”.
Northern Ireland minister and Brexiteer Steve Baker is “convinced” the UK and EU can “get a deal which works for everyone” if they enter talks without pre-conditions and “together in a spirit of goodwill”.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly also told the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham: “I want to ensure that we restore the integrity of the UK internal market. I want to protect north-south trade, but also want to restore the balance of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement which has been disrupted by the protocol.
“I want to see all the communities in Northern Ireland represented again at the Stormont executive so that devolved government can be properly re-established. I will work hard to get that done.”
He added: “Last week I spoke to the EU’s lead negotiator, vice president Maros Sefcovic, and we agreed our desire to reach a solution that works for all parts of the UK, especially the people of Northern Ireland.”
Following a telephone conversation with the Foreign Secretary last week, Mr Sefcovic tweeted: “Good conversation w/ @JamesCleverly on Protocol. Both sides agree to look for solutions around the Protocol, to bring predictability and certainty to people in Northern Ireland.
“The EU is committed to joint efforts. Teams will meet soon. James and I will stay in contact.”