Business disruption and uncertainty caused by Brexit has decreased the amount of new jobs created by FDI in Northern Ireland, according to recent research by Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy.

The research estimates that without Brexit-related uncertainty, Northern Ireland would have created an additional 1036 new jobs from FDI in the two years since the 2016 referendum.


The study estimates that the number of new jobs from FDI over the two years period after the referendum is 31% lower than would have been if the Brexit vote had never happened. In addition, the analysis suggests that this negative trend has been caused by reduced FDI activity from EU investors and less FDI to Northern Ireland’s services sector. 

The report corroborates already existing evidence of diminished FDI activity to the UK, due to Brexit uncertainty. In the three years since the referendum, the number of jobs created in the UK from greenfield FDI dropped by 19% - to about 183,000 - compared with the same period before the Brexit referendum, while foreign capital capital expenditure fell by 30% to $83.4bn, shows fDi Markets. Manufacturing has been the sector most affected by the loss.  

To conduct the analysis, Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy applied data from the FT’s fDi Markets database that has tracked global flows of greenfield foreign investment since 2003.