The Northern Ireland economy has largely recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic largely thanks to the benefits of the protocol, according to experimental official statistics.
Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that Northern Ireland’s economic growth in the third quarter was only 0.3% lower than in the last quarter of 2019. It follows from this that the region has performed better than any other area of the UK.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Jonathan Portes, professor of economics at King’s College London, said that “it is likely that Northern Ireland has done better.”
Official statistics released in October also showed that Northern Ireland was the only UK region with an increase in imports in the first half of the year — compared to the same period in 2020.
London was the second most efficient area in the UK, down 1.8% from pre-pandemic levels, followed by Wales.
However, the ONS said that experimental data should be treated with some caution, as they are “subject to a certain degree of uncertainty.”
Northern Ireland after Brexit is still part of the EU single market under a protocol that effectively created a border in the Irish Sea, as goods arriving at ports here from the rest of the UK are checked.