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Brexit could hurt trade across the Irish border

By Staff Reporter

A hard border in the event of a no-deal Brexit is likely to negatively impact cross-border shopping, according to a survey.

Accountancy firm RMS said that around one-quarter of people from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland travelled across the border at least a couple of times a year.

People in the Republic cross for groceries, clothes, and home and electric goods, while people here are more to go looking for petrol.

RSM said that while weak sterling had made cross-border shopping more appealing for people in the Republic, there was evidence that a hard border would have a negative impact on habits.

Just under 60% of respondents in the Republic said they would be less likely to do their shopping in Northern Ireland if there was a hard border.

Just under half of the respondents from Northern Ireland, meanwhile, confirmed that they would be less likely to shop in the Republic in the event of a no-deal exit.

More than 60% of people thought Brexit would have a negative impact on Northern Ireland's economy.

Of this group, younger people were the most anxious.

RSM Belfast managing partner Richard Gardiner said: "Given both the economic uncertainty of Brexit and the political uncertainty with the suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly, it is no surprise that there is anxiety amongst consumers.

Belfast Telegraph

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