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Volume 165: debated on Wednesday 17 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what are the present trends in value of imports from, and exports to, the Republic of Ireland.

Present trends indicate rising imports from Ireland and likewise rising exports to the Republic of Ireland from the United Kingdom.In 1988 the value of United Kingdom exports to the Republic of Ireland was £4,057 million. In the first 11 months of 1989, the figure was £4,316 million.The value of Irish exports to the United Kingdom in 1988 was £3,879 million. The figure for the first 11 months of 1989 was £3,941 million.Over the past four years exports to Ireland have risen at a slower rate than imports, therefore the balance has contracted. Figures available for 1989, however, suggest a reversal in this trend.Britain maintains a significant share of the Irish market—over 42 per cent. in 1988—double that of our main competitor and Ireland's second largest supplier, the United States of America. Ireland meanwhile has a 3·6 per cent. share of the United Kingdom market.

Trade with the Republic of Ireland
Imports from Ireland to the United KingdomExports from the United Kingdom to IrelandBalance
1January to November.