The UK said on Tuesday it would push back from the European Union to implement full border checks after Brexit because of epidemics, red tape and new immigration rules that fuel supply.
The government said plans to introduce full control in areas such as food and animal products imports were due next month, but will now begin in January next year under a new practical timetable.
The UK is still planning to introduce full customs declaration and control on 1 January 2022.
Certification and physical checks on food and animal products designed to protect against diseases, pests and contamination – which will be introduced on January 1 – will now be introduced in July 2022.
Requirements for safety and security declarations will also be pushed back by July.
“We want businesses to focus on recovering from the epidemic rather than meeting new needs at the border, which is why we’ve set a practical new timetable for introducing full border control,” said Minister David Frost. “
“Businesses now have more time to develop these controls, which will be phased out in 2022.
“We are on track to provide the new systems, infrastructure and resourcing required for these controls,” he added.
Epidemics and Bridget have left Britain with about 90,000 truck drivers, many of whom have returned to Eastern Europe, causing problems with the supply chain, especially in the food sector.
The UK has similarly postponed the full implementation of post-Brexit laws on trade from mainland Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) to Northern Ireland.
London is in talks with Brussels on how to implement the Northern Ireland Protocol, which aims to prevent unchecked goods from entering the EU’s sole market through the UK’s only land border with Ireland. Has been created.
But on Monday night, Frost warned that ministers could unilaterally suspend the protocol unless progress was made, with opposition from pro-British parties in Northern Ireland.
However, it could trigger retaliatory measures from the European Union, which insists the protocol is not ready for renegotiation.
There are growing fears that supply problems will affect Christmas. FC and McDonald’s of fast food outlets have already reported shortages of some menu items, while JD Weatherspun, owned by Tim Martin, a Brexit supporter, has run out of beer brands in China.
Trade Secretary Liz Truss said there was a need to be “as flexible as possible” in light of current issues.
“It is important that we do not impose barriers by imposing additional controls at this stage,” he told an online conference at a policy exchange think tank.
“It would be wrong to put these controls in place now,” he added.
The employers’ group, the CBI, said the extra time would reduce the pressure on the supply chain for retailers before the traditional Christmas season.
But Sean McGuire, the industry body’s director of Europe, said progress was needed to eliminate most checks, especially for agricultural foods.
“And where supply is disrupted by labor shortages, the UK should use immigration levers as part of its gift to reduce short-term pressures,” he added.
According to the British Chambers of Commerce, the UK is poised for the strongest growth since official records began in 2021, with gross domestic product (GDP) set to grow by 7.1%.
But he said a severe shortage of drivers, global supply problems and recruitment difficulties could hamper recovery.
Recent figures “point to a slowdown in the coming months as staff shortages, supply chain disruptions and rising cost pressures have limited production in many areas.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Tuesday demanded a limited “quad recovery visa” to help recruit and train EU workers to address labor shortages following Brexit and epidemics.
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