Before the pandemic, Northern Ireland had closer economic ties with the EU than did the UK overall: in 2019, 62 % of Northern Ireland’s total trade (imports plus exports) was with the EU, while the EU share of total UK trade as a whole was 52.1 % (see Table 1). Furthermore, the quarterly total trade figures between 2017 and 2020 (Figure 1) show that the EU share of Northern Ireland total trade varied between 58.6 % in the first quarter of 2017 and 65 % in the fourth quarter of 2020 (+11 % change); in the same period the EU share of total UK trade decreased, varying between 52.9 % and 51.5 % (-2.6 % change).
EU share of total trade (imports plus exports) by UK nation, 2017-2020
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