Using technology for Border checks on food ‘vague and unrealistic’

New report says absence of controls central to healthy Irish food trade

The authors say  a hard Brexit would result in the inspection of all produce, food and documents at border crossings. Photograph: Getty

The authors say a hard Brexit would result in the inspection of all produce, food and documents at border crossings. Photograph: Getty

 

The idea that technology could be used to check food crossing between the North and the Republic after Brexit is “vague and unrealistic”, experts have warned.

In a report published by the UK’s Food Research Collaboration and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), senior environmental health professionals and a leading academic claim no detailed attention or planning has been dedicated to the food implications of Brexit for the North as part of the negotiations.

The authors of the report say food is central to the economy of the North and the continuing supply of safe, high-quality and healthy food relies on the absence of border controls not just on the island but also between Britain and the rest of the EU.

In their Food, Brexit and Northern Ireland report they argue that if a hard Brexit is imposed it would result in the inspection of all produce, food and documents at Border crossings.

Gary McFarlane, co-author and the CIEH’s Director in Northern Ireland, said: “Technological solutions may or may not be possible in the future, but they do not exist at present.”