To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with other Government Departments on the (a) level of illegal meat imports to the UK and (b) effectiveness of port controls and enforcement measures to tackle illegal meat imports in respect of his responsibilities for border control and immigration.
I am extremely sorry for the delay in replying to the hon. Member. This was due to an administrative error.
Home Office Ministers regularly have discussions with ministerial colleagues and officials in many parts of Government. In line with the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information details of such confidential discussions are not normally disclosed.
Department officials have met colleagues in other Government Departments to assist in co-ordinating action across Government to ensure that rules on imports of all products are enforced effectively. The Immigration Service has instructed its officers at ports of arrival to be vigilant and where appropriate, to refuse entry to the United Kingdom to those offenders identified as being engaged in the illegal importation of meat and meat products.