Thursday, April 12, 2018

Food, Brexit and Northern Ireland

Tim Lang and his colleagues have produced an important briefing paper on the issues that arise from Brexit for food in Northern Ireland: The critical issues

They argue, 'Food is central to the economy of Northern Ireland, and the continuing supply of safe, high quality, healthy food is currently dependent on the absence of border controls between Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Great Britain and the rest of the European Union. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of food criss-cross these borders every year. They are currently free from inspection because of shared, underpinning EU Single Market regulation. An unplanned or mishandled food border imposition is likely to have powerful, destabilising consequences for the integrated nature of food supply, trade and access within Northern Ireland for many years to come. It would raise important challenges for food safety, put jobs at risk, potentially constrain Northern Ireland’s access to health-supporting foods such as fruit and vegetables, and create opportunities for food fraud and crime.'

They rightly rule out technological fixes for which specific details have never been provided.

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