The House of Commons EFRA Committee has launched an inquiry into how the Government can support meat and fish exporters to the EU, who have experienced disruption since the end of the transition period on January 1, due to bureaucratic border processes.
The Committee has asked Defra to provide estimates of the cost to date to UK food businesses caused by border issues and delays.
The broader inquiry, which will now begin accepting written evidence, will explore both long- and short-term action plans for exports to the EU, whilst also scrutinising the Government’s immediate response to disruptions over the past month. The Committee is also asking questions of the UK’s preparedness for checking food imports from the EU later this year, and what lessons have been learnt from the last month.
Neil Parish MP, Chair of the EFRA Committee, said: “A month of delays, disruption and red tape have meant food export businesses large and small have lost many tens of thousands of pounds. This needs to be gripped by the Government at the highest level before businesses go to the wall.
“While news of the compensation fund for fish is welcome, we need details, and fast. It’s time for the Government to get its act together and set out short, medium and long-term action plans for how it will support British food exporters. It is also clear that systems need to be streamlined, businesses supported, and mitigation plans made ahead of upcoming checks on food imports.”