Due to the small size of the domestic market, Ireland has, since the eighteenth century, been more dependant on international trade as a source of growth than most European economies. Lloyd George’s last-minute offer of full fiscal autonomy during the Treaty negotiations in December 1921 (which was accepted and came into effect from 1 April 1923) was certainly the most significant economic aspect of the negotiations, as it gave the newly-formed Irish Free State the ability to impose tariffs and regulate trade. The traditional trade to Britain in agricultural products continued to dominate Irish trade throughout the 1920s and access to the British market for these commodities remained a core issue in the political relationship between the two islands for decades. Irish trade dependence on the British market remained a dominant feature of the economy until long after the Republic of Ireland entered the EEC in 1973. Eventually EU membership changed the fundamentals of Irish trade and opened up an altogether more diverse range of trading opportunities.