David McAllister MEP: On the new UK border controls
New border controls onsome British food imports from the European Union cameinto forceWednesday for the first time since Brexit. Meat, eggs, fish and dairy are among a raft of fresh produce that will now require “export health certificates” and other paperwork before entering the United Kingdom. Companies must now present certificates for sanitary and phytosanitary imports at the UK border. Some goods from Northern Ireland will also face full customs controls.
According to the UK government’s own estimates, the checks — including physical inspections from April — will cost Britishbusinesses about £330 million ($419 million) annually and increase food inflation by about 0.2 percentage points over three years.
UK food producers exporting to the EUhave been subject to full border controls for three years, but the UK government delayed the introduction of checks on food coming the other way five times over fears the extra controls could disrupt vital supplies.
Industry groups have warned that the new measures could ultimately hike prices of some staples and disrupt supplies.The British Meat Processors Association said there could be a “sudden shock to the food supply chain” because of issues ranging from a growing divergence in food safety rules between the UK and EU to a lack ofEU vets available to sign export health certificates. A group of 30 trade organisations representing the UK food supply chain said last week that the new border measures would “impact the flow of critical food ingredients” from the EU to the UK.