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With St Patrick’s Day approaching it is important to reflect on the close and growing economic links between Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

The SNP Government established an innovation and investment hub in Dublin in 2016 to help form new, and enhance existing trading relationships with Ireland, which was ranked as Scotland’s 6th biggest export market in 2016.

Patricia Gibson MP commented:

“We have so much to gain from maintaining and enhancing the positive economic links we have with our closest EU neighbour in the Republic of Ireland and it is breath-taking that the Tories are putting this at risk.

“The repeated assertion by the Tories that Scottish independence would jeopardise trade with other UK nations is a complete red herring. The obvious solution to continuing frictionless trade throughout Europe is to maintain membership of the single market, which is around eight times bigger than the UK’s alone, as well as the customs union, a position supported by both the Scottish and Irish Governments.

“The Tories think they can do whatever they want to Scotland and get away with it, but we cannot let them and Labour risk jobs and our economy by backing a withdrawal from the worlds’ biggest single market; one that lets us trade freely with our neighbours across the Irish Sea.”

Trade between Scotland and the Irish Republic:

Total exports to Ireland: ​​​​ ​​​​2012​​​​ 2017​​​ % Change​

£527,722,000​​ £1,290,078,000​ 145​

Total imports​​​:

£258,724,000​​£ £527,719,000​ 104

Patricia added:

“Of course, we have strong trading relationships with many other nations and it is heartening to see such robust growth in our export markets, with the Netherlands now Scotland’s most important overseas trading partner.”

Scotland Top Five Export Partners, year ending December 2017:


Country 2016 2017 % Change

Netherlands. £3,067,000,000 £4,317,000,000 40.8 USA. £3,123,000,000 £3,356,000,000 7.5 Germany £2,352,000,000 £2,810,000,000 19.5 China £1,578,000,000 £2,228,000,000 41.2 France £1,430,000,000 £1,813,000,000 26.8

Source: HMRC Regional Trade Statistics

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