By Howard Wheeldon
Of the late Denis Healey’s ten most celebrated quotes one in particular has stood the test of time –
‘When you’re in a hole, stop digging’.
It didn’t take long for the cobbled together Brexit deal to be found wanting with figures from Ireland’s Office for National Statistics Office showing that trade between Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland slumped by 65% in January led to grimaced faces in Whitehall. As if that was not bad enough, the Office for National Statistics weighed in mid-way through March showing that the amount of goods exported to the EU in January fell by a whopping 41%.
The argument that, following a long Christmas break combined with a new national lockdown, January trade was bound to be low, had merit. Added to this was ample evidence of stockpiling that had occurred over previous couple of months ahead of the December 31st end of the transition period and the need cargo handlers and shippers to get their heads rou...