Tuesday 14 September 2021 10:33 am

Brexit: UK to delay full border checks on EU goods amidst supply crisis

The Government will push back the imposition of new checks on incoming goods from the EU due to supply chain pressures, Ministers said today.

Lord Frost told Parliament this morning that thought the UK’s infrastructure remained “on track” to meet original timetables, the pandemic has had “longer lasting impacts on businesses” than expected and that “pressures on global supply chains” had emerged.

As a result, Frost said, checks on food and agricultural products will be pushed back from October of this year to the start of 2022.

And export health certificates, physical checks and safety declarations on sanitary and phytosanitary goods will begin in July 2022, rather than at the beginning of next year.

The CBI said the additional time would “help to relieve pressure on supply chains ahead of the traditionally busy Christmas period for retailers, especially given current headwinds.”

“But the impact will be fleeting unless that extra time delivers progress on the challenges firms are facing. That includes both sides giving fresh consideration to business’ suggestion for a bespoke veterinary agreement, which could avoid the majority of checks and reflect the unique nature of trade between the UK and the EU,” the lobby group’s Europe Director Sean McGuire said.

The business body also called for the UK to look again at immigration policy to see if that may reduce supply bottlenecks.

The EU has introduced full checks on UK goods already but the UK has elected for a more gradual approach.

Read more: Exclusive: UK customs duties shoot up by 42 per cent to record £2.2bn since Brexit