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What does Brexit mean for Irish trade?

Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 02:15

The border communities in the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland currently enjoying frictionless trade and free movement of goods and people. But, as Katie Gregory reports, that could change if any sort of border is reinstated after Brexit.

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This is the only land border between the UK and the EU. An almost 500 kilometre line running across Ireland. Separating Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It's now peaceful and idyllic... But Communities along the border endured decades of militarisation during 'The Troubles' And the fear among residents is a hard border could be about to return. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CATHAL SHORT, MEMBER, BORDER COMMUNITIES AGAINST BREXIT, SAYING; "The whole idea of the EU is to break down borders and now we're back into a situation where there's going to be a border along the island of Ireland. It's madness." McNamees Bakery have had a factory and shop in Crossmaglen since 1939 - and also have two shops just across the border in the Republic of Ireland. They send their goods and earnings back and forth, they export around the world, they also employee staff from the EU- many of whom live in the south and come to work in the North. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MICHAEL WADDELL, OWNER, McNAMEES BAKERY, SAYING; "If they put anything that looks like a hard border it's going to add complications, it's going to add cost. And that cost is going to have to be passed on to somebody." IntertradeIreland works with government on both sides of the border to help businesses like McNamees bakery to prepare for Brexit and the potential revert to World Trade Tariffs and a hard border. They estimate THAT worst case scenario could lead to a reduction in cross border trade by 8 percent. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AIDAN GOUGH, STRATEGY & POLICY DIRECTOR, InterTradeIreland, SAYING; "Currently there are about 177 thousand lorries - 205 thousand vans, 1 million people crossing the border every month on this island. They are carrying trade that's now valued at about 6 billion euros per annum ." Even global companies like Guinness ship their beer from Dublin to be canned and bottled in Belfast and back again. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SIMON McKEEVER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, IRISH EXPORTERS ASSOCIATION, SAYING; "Everything is a threat for us, it's not just our direct trade with the UK, it's not just the border in Northern Ireland, it's the routing of our trade. A lot of our trade goes through what we call the land bridge in the UK. " For the residents and businesses of Crossmaglen and other border communities - all they can do is wait for a final deal. And hope the troubles of the past don't come back to haunt them.

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What does Brexit mean for Irish trade?

Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 02:15