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UK will not ‘turn on’ post-Brexit checks of EU goods for fear of border delays


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Posted (edited)

The UK government has told the country’s port authorities that it will not “turn on” critical health and safety checks for EU imports when post-Brexit border controls begin this month because of the risk of “significant disruption”.

In a presentation seen by the Financial Times, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) outlined a plan to avoid queues of lorries at ports, revealing that if the new border measures were implemented as planned big delays could follow. 

Since announcing new border controls on plant and food products last year the government has promised it would “phase in” checks, which trade groups have warned will hurt small businesses and drive up the price of food. 

However, just over a fortnight before physical inspections are set to begin, the presentation last week made clear that the new border systems will not be fully ready.

Defra made clear that its plan should not be shared with businesses, which will be charged a maximum of £145 “per consignment” for goods coming from the EU from April 30.

A Defra official also cautioned against disclosing it to the media, saying one of its main aims was to avoid negative news stories, according to a person familiar with the meeting. 

UK will not ‘turn on’ post-Brexit checks of EU goods for fear of border delays (archive.ph)

Edited by pellinore
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