Brexit continues to rewire trade routes around the British Isles with ROI to EU freight up by 50%

Wed 1 Dec 2021
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

brexit map

The amount of goods shipped direct from the Republic of Ireland (ROI) to the EU increased by 50% over a recent six-month period as shippers continue to skip the ‘land bridge’ across Great Britain.

Figures from the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) show how more and more goods are being carried over some of the 32 new ferry routes that have sprung up to connect ROI to the continent.

According to the Guardian, freight volumes between Dublin in ROI and Liverpool and Holyhead in the UK were down 19% in the first three-quarters of 2021 and down by 30% on the two routes from Rosslare to Pembroke and Fishguard.

Going direct

Figures for the second and third quarters of this year show that traffic from ROI to EU is already up by 52% compared with the entirety of 2019.

Concern about possible delays over customs checks in Dover and Calais has helped fuel the diversion of trade to routes from the ROI direct to the continent.

NI-ROI trade up

Trade between Northern Ireland (NI) and Ireland has also increased, reports the Guardian.

Figures from Dublin’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) this month show that the value of imports from NI increased by 60% in the first nine months of 2021 to €2.8bn (£2.37bn).

There was also a 48% rise in exports to NI from ROI, bringing the total value of trade to €2.57bn for January to September 2021.

Trade between NI and ROI has remained frictionless as both remain in the EU single market. However, goods moving from GB to NI have to undergo a range of new administrative requirements.

No Christmas deal

The EU and UK are continuing to discuss the NI Protocol, a process that is unlikely to be resolved by Christmas, according to RTE.

It quotes Taoiseach Micheál Martin saying that “the UK Government was not fully satisfied” with the package prepared by the vice president of the European Commission, Maroš Šefcovic.

Sausage wars return

The Telegraph reports that Britain is opening up a new front in the so-called ‘sausage war’ by demanding that British chilled meats are allowed to be exported to the EU under the same “national identity” waiver that has been proposed for NI.

British officials will call for the rules to be relaxed in upcoming specialised committee meetings to iron out teething problems in the UK-EU free trade deal agreed last year.