Britain to threaten to remove Brexit conditions from Northern Ireland

The full impact of Brexit on businesses and consumers won’t be felt until next year, with shortages set to worsen in sectors ranging from food to building materials, a leading customs expert said , writes David Parsley.

Simon Sutcliffe, partner at tax and consultancy firm Blick Rothenberg, believes government delays in implementing post-Brexit customs laws have “mitigated the impact” of the UK’s exit from the European Union, and that “things will get worse” when they are finally introduced from January 2022.

Although he left the EU on January 1, 2020, the government delayed many customs laws that were to come into force last year.

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The requirement for pre-notification of the arrival in the UK of agri-food imports will be introduced on January 1, 2022 as opposed to the already postponed date of October 1 of this year.

The new requirements for export health certificates will now be introduced even later, on July 1 next year.

Controls to protect animals and plants from diseases, pests or contaminants will also be delayed until July 1, 2022, as will the requirement for safety and security declarations on imports.

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When these laws, which also include the customs declaration system, are passed, Mr Sutcliffe believes that food and raw material shortages already known to some extent – especially in Northern Ireland – will worsen on the market. continent with some products are disappearing from supermarket shelves for the foreseeable future.

Sutcliffe, who was among the first to predict the shortage of truckers ansd border issues in Northern Ireland, said: “Once these additional expansions are completed, we’re going to be in a world of pain until importers tackle them, just as UK exporters to the EU have already had to.

“The cost of the bureaucracy involved will mean that many retailers will simply no longer stock some EU products.

If you know your fruit delivery is stuck in a UK port for 10 days while waiting to be checked, you aren’t going to bother importing it because it will leave before it even reaches the store.

“We envision all kinds of products going out of the supermarket, from salami to cheese, because they will just be too expensive to ship. Although some delicatessens may stock these products, they will become more expensive and more difficult to transport. find.”

He added that the supermarket store will also face sharp price increases, as the cost of importing even basic commodities such as fresh meat, milk, eggs and vegetables will cost retailers more.

“Retailers will have little choice but to pass at least some of the increased costs on to the consumer,” Sutcliffe said. “In other words, consumers will have less choice and will have to pay more for their weekly store.”

A spokesperson for No 10 said: “We want businesses to focus on their recovery from the pandemic rather than having to deal with new border requirements, which is why we have established a new one. pragmatic timetable for the introduction of full border controls.

“Companies will now have more time to prepare for these controls, which will be implemented gradually throughout 2022.”


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