On the 30th April 2024, the UK introduced physical inspection for imported goods from the EU. This has been delayed five times due to an unpreparedness of the agencies and a fear of the economic consequences with price rises and shortages predicted. The EU have been conducting these checks since 1st Jan 2021. There is a view that like so much of what the Tories do these days, this is a scorched earth policy i.e. done deliberately to make the incoming government’s job harder. I found the following links …


  1. UK industry fears disruption new post brexit border checks from Reuters
  2. UK will not ‘turn on’ post-Brexit checks of EU goods for fear of border delays from the FT, April 18th, sub titled, “Industry groups say lack of clarity leaves businesses unsure how to manage new rules due to start on April 30”
  3. Explainer: The UK’s border with the EU from UKICE as above, dated Jan 2024
    • What changes did Brexit necessitate at the GB-EU border?
    • Does the UK have to implement full border controls on EU imports?
    • Why has implementation been delayed?
    • What changes have been implemented so far?
    • How will the new controls impact imports from the EU?
    • Are businesses now ready for the new import controls?
    • Does this affect the operation of the GB-NI border?
  4. How UK’s new border controls will affect animal and plant imports from the Guardian, an explainer with the sub title “Second phase of physical checks could result in price increases in shops, as businesses pass on costs to consumers” It aslo says, “However, the Financial Times reported earlier this month that the government would not “turn on” the checks, with checks “set to zero” for all but the highest risk products.”
  5. UK to delay start of health and safety checks on EU imports – report also from the Guardian and published Apt 18th, which says that while the rules will go live, there will be no inspections until Oct.
  6. A search on search term, “border checks” from the British Retail Consortium
  7. New UK border checks on imports ‘bring cost, confusion and frustration’ from the Loadstar, “Making sense of the supply chain”. They say, “Supply chain leaders have warned of increased costs, confusion and frustration as the UK today introduces the first stage of its Border Target Operating Model (BTOM).”.
  8. Import changes – second phase begins from the NFU, who it seems are calling for the controls to be implemented.
  9. The 22-mile trip for post-Brexit border controls from the FT, focuses on the fact that the checks in Kent will not be done at the port, and thus introduce disincentives to importers who have an increased risk and incentives to criminals to unload between the port and inspection centre.

And from CNN, “Less choice and higher prices? Britain braces for Brexit checks on food imports,”

The United Kingdom does not feed itself, relying heavily on the European Union for fresh fruit and vegetables. That dependency has changed little since Britain left the bloc in 2020, and could now mean more pain for consumers and small businesses.

Tuesday marks the beginning of the long-delayed introduction of post-Brexit physical inspections of plant and animal imports from the EU. The spot checks will apply initially to products such as meat, cheese and some fish, and eventually to a range of vegetables and fruit.

Hefty new charges on some imported food products will also come into effect, …

Analysis by Hanna Ziady and Anna Cooban, CNN

The CNN article has section titles,

  1. Higher prices and border delays
  2. ‘Dangerous’ dependence
  3. ‘Crisis’ or opportunity for UK farmers?

Oddly, I the days after I did the googling to find comments on this, I was offered the following videos;

“New Brexit Checks Even Worse than Expected” from “a different bias” aka Phil who likes talking about politics; he powerfully makes the point that even the delays while waiting to be waved through jeopardise the safe delivery for food and plants and will inhibit the drivers and lorries from making the journey. The extent of the delays was confirmed in a story in the Guardian, Brexit border IT outages delay import of perishable items to UK by up to 20 hours, where they claim that the delays, imposed on “Lorries carrying meat, cheese and cut flowers held up by new checks, with retailers rejecting some orders”.

Also, this,

from “Politics Joe” which includes a clip of Stella Creasy challenging the Govt in the House, this link has a start argument but not an end. The exchange between Creasy and the Government minister exposes the weaknesses in the Govt. claim on minimal price increases. The video also deals with the costs of the inspection and paperwork which is born by the lorry firms and needs to be passed on to consumers.

I was also pointed at a tweet from Ciran the Euro courier whcih I unrolled. He emphasises the intimidating nature of the inspection site, and the delays incurred, reinforcing the arguments in the Politics Joe video that the delay is a major part of the problem in food delivery.

I did the fact finding early last week on May 13th and came to the conclusion that there wsn;t much of a story the three sources I found after that suggest there is. More Brexit omerta?

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