Port checks essential in Brexit UK
Inland border controls post-Brexit would present public, animal and environmental health risks, the Port Health Authority for London has warned.
Referring to the UK Government’s proposed strategy of building livestock screening centres inland to enable the UK to deal with more checks after it has left the EU, the Authority stated that high risk produce should be checked as soon as possible, that is at the port it arrives at.
A spokesperson for the City of London Corporation, the Port Health Authority for London, told Port Strategy: “We are very clear that in any Brexit scenario, there must be the same or an improved level of consumer protection for public, animal and environmental health.
“To control public and animal health risks effectively, checks and controls of high risk food, feed and animals should take place at the first point of entry into the UK.”
Currently, common quality and safety standards are shared by the UK and EU as part of the Bloc agreement but if a borderless EU trade area for goods and agriculture is not agreed as part of Brexit, far more rigorous checks of products may be needed for produce of EU origin.
The spokesperson for the Authority, which oversees the ports of DP World London Gateway, Tilbury, Thamesport, Sheerness and the port at London City Airport, added: “Any deal should continue to recognise EU controls to avoid resourcing implications at the UK border. This would be best done as part of a reciprocal agreement.
“Current checks at UK and EU borders on third country imports should be maintained to facilitate the free movement of goods within the EU and between the EU and the UK.”
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