Points of Entry Delays: Compensation

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 21st June 2021.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 2:45 pm, 21st June 2021

The costs that I have for government alone, which are then supposed to be applied to businesses, are around £25 million per annum. The problem is that those are not the only costs for businesses, because they have to employ people to produce the common health entry documents (CHEDs) and carry out all the background paperwork. They have a series of pieces of work to do, to the point that one of our leading retailers, Marks and Spencer, apportioned a significant amount of the losses that it declared this year to the protocol and how it affected its supply of food to Northern Ireland.

We have 325 documentary checks a day in Northern Ireland, while, in Rotterdam, the largest port in Europe, there were 125. That is how preposterous the European Union imposition on Northern Ireland has been. I explained how preposterous it was to Maroš Šefcovic last Wednesday. The EU seems to be hanging its hat on dealing with it by having the Swiss model — I believe that the Swiss may want out of that — applied to all of the United Kingdom. In reality, that will not happen. Getting rid of the protocol is the only solution for the people of Northern Ireland, and the Government need to act.