BMPA calls for ‘orientation phase’ as Brexit deadline looms

BMPA calls for ‘orientation phase’ as Brexit deadline looms

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) is calling on Government to negotiate an ‘orientation phase’ starting from 1st January that will give exporters time to fill in the missing detail on how trade with the EU will work post-Brexit.

BMPA says it would avoid a damaging shock to the UK’s food supply chain whilst preserving existing trade with Europe. This follows growing concern over extra costs that exporters will are likely to run into on 31st December.

The trade body has been putting pressure on Government over the last few weeks for its perceived lack of preparation for Brexit. It has hit out at the scale of demand for Export Health Certificates (EHC), with each certificate needed to be signed by a vet. The organisation has also called for more vets to help cope with the increase in demand.

“We are trying to help Defra understand the unintended consequences we will face if this is not resolved and to offer practical solutions, but at the moment we’re not convinced they are listening.”

Nick Allen, chief executive of BMPA, commented: “We now know a full and detailed free trade agreement that would resolve all the above issues is impossible before 31st December. So, the Government needs to show us their contingency plan for when things don’t work as planned. They’ve alluded to having one but so far haven’t shown us anything.

“Better still, as part of the final negotiations with the EU, the Government should build in an ‘orientation phase’ to allow time to iron out the technical issues and then introduce changes in stages throughout 2021 to avoid a damaging shock to our imports and exports on 1st January.

“We are trying to help Defra understand the unintended consequences we will face if this is not resolved and to offer practical solutions, but at the moment we’re not convinced they are listening.”

Photograph: Nick Allen, CEO of the British Meat Processors Association.

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