"Trade after Brexit tied up in knots: For Northern Ireland, Brexit means red tape and government subsidies"

Press/Media: Expert Comment


One of the paras (out of a total 7) in this article in The Economist was based entirely on my analysis of the "cost" of the Northern Ireland Protocol to NI private sector and to NI publicĀ  sector (latter in terms of additional public spending requirements)


Impact of the Protocol

Here is the relevant paragraph:

"Esmond Birnie, an economist at Ulster University, has sought to quantify the costs in more expensive imports, new customs checks and extra red tape. The protocol benefits some businesses by allowing them to stay within within the EU's free-trade area, he says, but notĀ  enough to offset such costs. Using early trade data from this year, he reckons the "protocol penalty" will be around 2% of Northern Ireland's GDP".

Period4 Sept 2021

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • Title"Trade after Brexit Tied up in knots: For Northern Ireland, Brexit means red tape and government subsidies"
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletThe Economist
    Media typePrint
    Duration/Length/Sizeone paragraph (out of seven in the article)
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    DescriptionArticle in The Economist refers at some length and in detail to my analysis on the cost of the Protocol to the NI economy, both private and public sectors
    Producer/AuthorThe Economist
    PersonsEsmond Birnie


  • northern Ireland
  • Northern Ireland economy, political impact on economy, devolution, devolved policies, economic policy, economic growth, UK growth
  • Northern Ireland economy, UK economy, economic growth, productivity, GDP, GVA, economic growth
  • Brexit
  • Brexit economic implications
  • Brexit Protocol
  • Brexit trade effects
  • Business costs
  • Trade frictions