Northern Ireland

A numbers guide to Brexit's borders

Borderland store at Muff Image copyright Charles McQuillan/Getty
Image caption A woman walks past the Borderland store near the Irish border in Muff, County Donegal

The Irish border and the backstop have become some of the most used Brexit buzzwords to have emerged since the EU referendum.

There is rarely a speech or sound bite relating to the UK's EU exit that does not contain reference to either.

But what are the key statistics regarding cross-border activity between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom?

Here's a numbers guide to Brexit's borders:

46 million - The traffic count of vehicles at the 15 main Irish border locations between January and December 2018.

8.8 million - The traffic count of goods vehicles - including HGVs and LGVs.

£14.6bn - The value of Northern Ireland sales to Great Britain in 2016.

£11.4bn - The value of Northern Ireland exports to destinations outside of the UK, including £4bn to Republic of Ireland.

19% - Northern Ireland sales to GB as a percentage of total sales in 2016.

5% - Northern Ireland sales to Republic of Ireland as a percentage of total sales in 2016.

€2bn - The value of Republic of Ireland goods exports to Northern Ireland in 2018.

€458m (£402m) - The amount spent in Northern Ireland by shoppers from the Republic of Ireland in a 12 month period between 2017/2018, with the border region accounting for 63% of this.

20% - The percentage of households in Dublin that shopped in Northern Ireland over that period.

88% - The percentage of shopping trips that were same-day visits.

74.1% - of households in the border region that shopped in Northern Ireland did so for groceries.

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64.1% - the percentage of Northern Ireland exported agri-food products that are sent to Great Britain. GB is NI's largest market. The Republic of Ireland is the next biggest, accounting for 19.1% of all exports.

31% - of all Northern Ireland's sales to the Republic of Ireland are in agri-food, more than any other sector.

£1bn - Beef and sheep meat are the most significant exports, accounting for 32% of total sales. £813m of which go to other parts of the UK.

£900m - The value of food and live animal exports from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland in 2017.

£835.8m - The value of food and live animals imported from the Republic to Northern Ireland in 2017.

3,395 - the number of higher education students crossing the border for education on the island of Ireland in 2015/2016 - 1,200 going from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland, and 2,195 from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland.

Sources:

Northern Ireland trade data

Republic of Ireland trade data

Cross border vehicle crossings

Cross-border shopping

Agriculture.

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