Northern Ireland’s future food supply could be at risk of serious disruption because the UK Government is neglecting the issue in Brexit negotiations, according to a new report.
Experts from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and City, University of London warn there has been no planning for how food trade will fit into any changes to the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Published by the Food Research Collaboration and the CIEH, the report shows why a “frictionless” border is vital to the high-volume, economically and nutritionally important food trade into, out of and through Northern Ireland.
The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is currently, in effect, invisible. Any future deal which requires border checks and infrastructure raises serious food safety, standards, crime and fraud risks, according to the report. New arrangements could increase food prices, reduce access to healthy food, cause transport delays and harm agri-food businesses.
The briefing paper, Food, Brexit and Northern Ireland: critical issues, is available to read at: http://foodresearch.org.uk/publications/food-brexit-northern-ireland/