Post-Brexit border checks to cost ‘billions’ and increase inflation

Post-Brexit border checks are to “add billions” to consumers bills, as well as 0.2% to food inflation over three years.

It is understood that the inspections on plants and food at the border, which have come into force today (30 April), are to add more than £330m to annual business costs over three years, Sky News reported.

The physical border checks, which follow the introduction of documentation for imports, will impact any imported goods considered a “medium risk”, such as fresh meat, fish, and dairy produce, leading to fears of a disruption to food supply chains, especially for time-sensitive fresh goods.

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Importers face a charge for each consignment that comes into the UK, irrespective of whether it is stopped for inspection.

The government has admitted that this will add more than £330m to annual business costs.

However, The Cold Chain Federation, which represents cold and frozen goods importers, believes government estimates are low, and puts the cost in billions.

Cabinet Office minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe, a former Tesco director, said: “It is essential that we introduce these global, risk-based checks to improve the UK’s biosecurity. We cannot continue with temporary measures which leave the UK open to threats from diseases and could do considerable damage to our livelihoods, our economy and our farming industry.”



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