Report: Irish firms relying on UK for goods could be 'particularly badly hit' by tariffs after Brexit

Reliance on UK exports could lead to high Brexit cost increases for Irish firms, according to a new report published today.

The report published by the ESRI, Enterprise Ireland, and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation shows Irish-owned firms rely heavily on the UK to source goods used to produce a final product.

The report claims that more than half of the total imports used by Irish-owned firms are sourced in the UK with many importing solely from the UK market.

Such companies are therefore highly exposed to cost increases in the case of a hard Brexit, which could damage their competitiveness and impact their export performance.

Martina Lawless, author of the report and Associate Research Professor at the ESRI, said: "Food products stand out as being particularly exposed, with a relatively high dependence on the UK market as an import source and high potential tariffs in the absence of a comprehensive trade agreement.

"We find that the food sector is particularly badly hit. Any sort of tariffs or increase in costs would be several times higher on the food sector than on manufactured inputs, for example.

"Generally, the average tariff that we would find on manufacturing products would be in the area of 2% to 3%, whereas in food products, you are talking of increases in the region of 18%."

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