Debate Magazine

"Overview of Northern Ireland Trade"

Posted on the 08 October 2019 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From the BBC:
A No 10 source says a Brexit deal is "essentially impossible" after a call between the PM and Angela Merkel... They also claimed she said a deal would never be possible unless Northern Ireland stayed in a customs union.
I'm all in favour of a (re)united Ireland and NI remaining in the EU customs union is a step in that direction. I'm not sure why the EU is so adamant, but it's not necessarily A Bad Thing.
It depends largely on whether NI trades more with RoI or more with GB? It makes sense to be in a customs union with your largest trading partner.
NISRA says that NI-GB trade is about four times as much as NI-RoI trade (or twice as much as combined NI-RoI and NI-rEU trade). GB is further away, but fifteen times as big as RoI, so that looks about right. Which means that NI would be better off (or less worse off) in the UK customs union and not in the EU customs union (which is not the answer I wanted).
Ho hum.

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