EU Exit and Impacts on Northern Ireland’s Services Trade

Date published: 04 March 2019

Last updated: 07 June 2023

In 2017, it is estimated that the Northern Ireland service sector had external sales (sales made outside of NI) of £5.8bn with £2bn of those sales being exported (sales made outside of GB and NI). Given the importance of services trade to the NI economy, the Department for the Economy commissioned Developing Trade Consultants to undertake research on the potential impacts on NI’s tradable services sector as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU. The research was completed using the OECD’s Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) methodology as a basis, and published in February 2019.


In May 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Common Travel Area was signed by the governments of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Developing Trade Consultants were therefore commissioned to carry out a Technical Update to their original research. This Technical Update includes revised assumptions following the signing of the MoU.

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