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Thursday, February 13, 2020

The threat to our 'five-a-day'

Sky News reports on warnings by the retail sector about disruption to the supply of fruit and vegetables after the UK confirmed it will introduce import controls on EU goods from January.

They say that controls will come into force after the end of the current Brexit transition period - during which EU rules continue to apply. And hopes that new technology will ride to the rescue have been dashed after officials told trade organisations that a "smart border" with simplified systems designed to reduce disruption would not be available until 2025:

Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said ministers needed to set out detailed plans on how the controls would be implemented.

He said: "Government will need to move fast if it intends to provide the necessary infrastructure to carry out full border controls on imported goods from January 2021.

"Without the necessary infrastructure up and running from day one, consumers in the UK will see significant disruption, particularly in the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables."

The introduction of controls means that from January, traders in the EU and Britain will have to submit customs declarations and be liable to goods checks, the government said.

For those who think that this does not matter, and that we will more than cover EU business through trade deals elsewhere, it is worth remembering that the EU is the UK's biggest trading partner. Last year Britain imported goods worth £265bn from the bloc, compared to £236.5bn from non-EU countries.
fruit and veg will be more expensive cos of paperwork and companies passing on the costs and the value of the pound.
perishable food could be exhorbitant price wise cos of distance covered and possibly? flown here. This would take them off the shelves, less choice. Only those with money will be able to buy it.

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