UK supermarkets issue GB-NI trade warning – POLITICO
Six UK supermarkets called on Sunday called for “fast, decisive, and cooperative movement “on the future of trade between Britain and Northern Ireland. Without a solution, they warned, retailers could end up moving supply chains from Britain to the EU.
In a letter to UK Brexit Minister David Frost and European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, the group, which includes Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, mentionned “Much more needs to be done before the end of September if there is no significant disruption in supply and increased costs for consumers in Northern Ireland.”
As part of Brexit, Northern Ireland is expected to follow EU food quality rules. But the issue of controls on products transferred from Britain to the region has sparked tensions between UK and EU authorities and raised concerns from businesses about costs and delays. A grace period for enforcement is due to end on September 30, but there is no long-term solution in place.
UK retailers have called on the two officials to “help us minimize this disruption and allow us to continue to offer the people of Northern Ireland choice and affordable prices”.
The British Retail Consortium also warned that retailers would face “increased costs and complexity when moving goods from Britain to Northern Ireland” from October, unless a solution is found. He called for an “industry consultation” to find a “working solution”.
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