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Urgent explanation needed from Minister on lack of Brexit border control post plans, says Blair

An urgent explanation is needed from the Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs as to why his Department has not yet submitted plans around Brexit border control posts, Alliance’s John Blair MLA has said.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) was required to submit information on what ports it wishes to designate as border control posts by the end of June. However, that has still to take place. South Antrim MLA Mr Blair said he was growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information coming from the Department.

“In order to allow the UK Government to process the plans, practically DAERA needed to submit its suggestions for the border control posts a few days before the June 30 deadline. We are now almost at the end of the first week in July and it appears that hasn’t happened,” said Mr Blair.

“I have raised this matter at DAERA Committee and I’m growing increasingly concerned this key aspect of the implementation of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol is being delayed, causing more confusion for our agricultural and food production sectors in particular.

“The Minister needs to urgently explain the disorganised approach his Department is taking to the Brexit preparations. This apparent disregard for the deadline could present great challenges for Northern Ireland and place significant strain on our food supply chains, placing them under further uncertainty and pressure.”