BELFAST — The post-Brexit trade protocol is helping, not hurting, growth and profitability in Northern Ireland because of its advantageous access to EU markets, according to a British economic think tank.

Wednesday’s findings from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research pour cold water on Conservative and Democratic Unionist claims that the protocol’s requirement for EU checks on British goods arriving in Northern Ireland has undermined business opportunities.

As part of its latest quarterly report on the U.K.’s economic outlook, the London-based research group says available data shows the reverse is true. It says Northern Ireland’s economic output “has slightly outperformed the U.K. average.”

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