Campaigners call for SPS agreement amid more border chaos

Campaigners have criticised further delays at post-Brexit border checkpoints and called for an SPS agreement. 

This morning it was revealed that lorries carrying perishable food and plant products from the EU are facing up to 20 hour delays at Dover due to failures with the government's IT systems. 

These post-Brexit checks were brought in at the start of this month, after more than a three-year delay. 

Checks are necessary to ensure that food and plant products entering the UK from the EU meet required standards. If the UK were to align standards with the EU where beneficial - such as in the case of animal and plant products - then these checks would not be required.

The UK Trade and Business Commission - which Best for Britain supports as Secretariat - recommended, in their May 2023 report, the introduction of a new Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and veterinary equivalence agreement with the EU to "facilitate seamless trade in livestock, plants, and related products.” It is one of 114 recommendations made by the Commission to improve trade and grow the economy.

Tom Brufatto, Director of Policy and Research at Best for Britain said, 

"These artificial barriers to trade were always going to be damaging to business but it beggars belief that even after three years of delays they still aren’t functioning properly, meaning more costs for struggling businesses, which will inevitably be passed onto consumers.

“This border chaos must end, and the best way to do that is through an SPS agreement with our European neighbours, as part of a broader policy of beneficial regulatory alignment.”