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Newry Chamber Welcomes NI Food Report Concerned with Impact of Brexit

The report entitled ‘Food, Brexit and Northern Ireland: Critical Issues’ published by the Food Research Collaboration and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) highlights the imperative of securing an agreement that maintains border arrangements as at present or at the very least a frictionless border as all parties involved have committed to.

The report also emphasises that Northern Ireland’s future food supply could be at risk of serious disruption because the UK Government is neglecting the issue in Brexit negotiations. Experts from the CIEH and University of London warn there has been no planning for how food trade will fit into any changes to the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

CEO of Newry Chamber, Mary Meehan said: “We welcome this report which shows why a “frictionless” border is vital to the high-volume, economically and nutritionally important food trade into, out of and through Northern Ireland.”

She added, “Northern Ireland exports £1.15 billion worth of food to the EU, about 70 per cent of which goes to or through the Republic of Ireland so any future deal which requires border checks and infrastructure raises serious food safety, standards, crime and fraud risks.”

Siobhan Reel, Managing Director of Newry Chamber Member Delilites also commented: “We as Delilites Group with businesses both sides of the border wholeheartedly support this report and would insist a frictionless border is vital for the safe and confident movement of both food produce and of people. Food is central to the NI economy and our food trade must be central to any future deal.”

The briefing paper, ‘Food, Brexit and Northern Ireland: Critical Issues’, is available to read at: