Topical Questions

Part of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons on 17th June 2021.

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Photo of Ian Liddell-Grainger Ian Liddell-Grainger Conservative, Bridgwater and West Somerset

The Secretary of State is fully aware that we have an issue at the moment with customs. West Somerset Garden Centre in Minehead, which is at the far end of most supply chains, is getting a lot of these articulated lorries from across Europe, and they start their drop in Minehead, which means that customs forms are done in Minehead for the whole load, regardless of whether only a third of it is coming off there. The other problem is that when these plant trays come off—the Secretary of State knows what I am talking about—even if only three of those plants are coming off in Minehead, the rest still have to go through the customs rigmarole there. The customs officers either do not get to Minehead or do not know where it is, and there is a huge problem with this, as the Secretary of State is aware. We need an answer to this fairly quickly, because the paperwork is swamping a small garden centre in Somerset.