SDLP Brexit Spokesperson Matthew O'Toole has welcomed new figures from the Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO) confirming a sustained increase in North-South trade.
Exports from North to South in 2021 rose by 65%, an increase of €1.5bn in value compared with 2020. This, combined with the broader potential of Northern Ireland’s preferential access to the EU single market, highlights again the need to focus on the very economic opportunities provided by the Protocol.
This comes after polling during the weekend showed that the Protocol is the primary concern for only 7% of voters.
The Belfast South MLA said:
"The latest figures show clearly many businesses on both sides of the border are adapting to take full advantage of the Protocol. Northern Ireland now has the unique ability to export seamlessly into both the British market and the EU single market – making us the envy of exporters in Scotland, England and Wales having to deal with new barriers to trade.
“It’s clear that by keeping trade in goods open with the rest of Ireland and Europe we are creating opportunities for our economy. It’s particularly encouraging to see such a massive increase in food exports, despite the stunts and distortion of the DUP agriculture minister Edwin Poots.
"This further proves the DUP's scaremongering and brinkmanship does not reflect the interests of our economy or the vast majority of people here. It would be far more productive if they worked within the Executive to help businesses here adapt to the new trading relationships and take advantage of the unique opportunities the NI Protocol provides"