Senator Chambers: Latest trade figures show ‘immediate impact’ of Brexit 

Published on: 19 March 2021

Fianna Fáil Senator and Spokesperson on Foreign and EU affairs, Lisa Chambers has stated that the latest CSO figures released on goods exports and imports in January 2021 shows the “immediate impact” of Brexit on trade. 

Imports of goods from Great Britain in January 2021 were €497 million, a fall of €906 million compared with January 2020, while exports to Great Britain decreased by 14% to €946 million in January 2021 when compared with January 2020. 

Senator Chambers commented, “The drop in exports and imports to and from Britain is significant and higher than many expected. This shows the immediate impact of Brexit on trade with a number of factors contributing to these figures.”  

Senator Chambers continued: “We know there would have been some stockpiling in the run up to Christmas and also businesses increasing imports and exports before the new customs regulations kicked in. 

“What we have to do now is monitor these figures as we progress through the remainder of the year to get a clearer picture of the true impact of Brexit on trade with Britain but it is expected this fall in trade will persist to a degree as businesses adjust to the new trading environment,” concluded Senator Chambers. 

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.