UK proposes post-Brexit Irish Sea border food checks in attempt to soothe tensions

Details of the plan are contained in a Northern Ireland Protocol roadmap shared with the EU, which has been seen by the BBC.

It reportedly shows that the UK wants to phase in new Irish Sea border checks on food products in four stages from October.

It comes after Brexit minister David Frost urged Brussels to stop “point-scoring” over the Northern Ireland protocol in an article in the Mail on Sunday.

Hinting that the UK could take unilateral action, Lord Frost wrote: “We are responsible for protecting the peace and prosperity of everyone in Northern Ireland and we will continue to consider all our options for doing so.”

The Northern Ireland Protocol was designed to protect the peace process by avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.

However, it has effectively created a barrier between Great Britain and Northern Ireland by leaving the region tied to a range of EU customs and regulatory rules.

NI remained part of the EU’s single market for goods while the rest of the UK left, meaning food products entering NI from GB were subjected to new checks.

The two sides initially agreed a three-month grace period which meant supermarkets did not need to comply with all the EU’s usual certification requirements. It was extended until October and now the roadmap now suggests what should happen next.

Phase one in October covers fresh meat products while phase two at the end of January 2022 covers dairy products, plants and wine.



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