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Physical Brexit checks of animal-based food products have been suspended at Belfast and Larne ports amid concerns for the safety and welfare of staff.
Police will hold talks later today with their partner agencies over the matter, a spokesperson for Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) said: “The situation will be kept under review and in the meantime full documentary checks will continue to be carried out as usual.”
Meanwhile, British shellfish companies have said they fear a post-Brexit ban on unprocessed oysters, cockles and scallops from many UK waters to EU markets could be a potentially fatal blow to their businesses.
Brussels informed the industry that UK fishermen will no longer be allowed to send bivalves and molluscs unless they have undergone purification to be made fit for human consumption, or have come from the cleanest “class A” waters.
The Shellfish Association of Great Britain said class A exports were “not in doubt”, but there was “severe uncertainty” over the future of exports from class B waters.
Police to hold talks with agencies after physical Brexit checks suspended at Belfast and Larne ports
Police are to hold talks later today with partner agencies after physical Brexit checks at Belfast and Larne ports were suspended amid safety concerns.
Yesterday, Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) said it had decided “in the interests of the wellbeing of staff to temporarily suspend physical inspections of products of animal origin at Larne and Belfast” pending further discussions with the PSNI.
A Daera spokesperson said: “The situation will be kept under review and in the meantime full documentary checks will continue to be carried out as usual.”
Agriculture minister Edwin Poots said he had taken the decision to withdraw personnel at the ports in consultation with his staff.
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Mark McEwan said force officials would meet partner agencies to discuss the situation.
“The safety of staff working at points of entry is of the utmost importance to us,” he said. “Where we have any credible information we will share that with our partners and take appropriate action.
“We have increased patrols at Larne Port and other points of entry in order to reassure staff and the local community.”
Samuel Osborne2 February 2021 08:12
Good morning and welcome to the latest Brexit updates from The Independent.
Samuel Osborne2 February 2021 08:03