Irish imports from Britain fall 65% after Brexit

Irish goods imports from Britain fell by 65% in January, as traders grappled with new customs requirements coupled with health crisis restrictions and pre-Brexit stockpiling.

That's according to numbers from Ireland's statistics service on Thursday (March 18).

The value of imports from Britain, excluding Northern Ireland, fell to 497 million euros in January, or about 590 million dollars.

That's little more than a third of the figure in the same period a year ago.

But imports from Northern Ireland increased slightly.

Under the Brexit deal, imports from Northern Ireland to European Union member Ireland are not subject to the same customs requirements as those from the rest of the UK.

Irish goods exports to Britain posted an annual decline of 14% in January, but exports to Northern Ireland increased.

Ireland's trade with the rest of the EU has also been thrown into confusion.

Earlier in the year ferry operators said they'd seen a surge in traffic going direct to continental Europe.

Irish traders are shunning the usual route via England, deterred by the reams of post-Brexit paperwork.