Retailers call for urgent talks over N.Ireland food checks

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Signs reading 'No Irish Sea border' and 'Ulster is British, no internal UK Border' are seen affixed to a lamp post at the Port of Larne, Northern Ireland, March 6, 2021. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

British Retail Consortium (BRC) on Monday called for urgent talks between the major supermarket groups it represents and European Union and British officials to discuss proposed new post-Brexit Irish Sea border checks for food products.

The BBC reported on Monday that Britain is proposing to phase in new Irish Sea border checks on food products in four stages from October.

“We have always argued for a long term pragmatic approach to checks and paperwork on food moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland; one that recognises the need for EU import controls but does not add unnecessary bureaucracy and costs, reducing choice for Northern Ireland consumers,” Andrew Opie, director of food & sustainability at the BRC said.

“EU and UK officials should urgently sit down with the major supermarkets to understand the issues and agree robust and practical controls which work for households across NI.”