The UK leaving the European Union will mean significant new additional responsibilities for local councils to check goods entering the country.
Commenting on the National Audit Office report predicting border disruption when the EU Transition Period ends, Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chair of the EU Exit Taskforce for the Local Government Association, said:
“As port health authorities, councils are legally responsible for undertaking checks of certain food and feed products, and live animals, as they enter the country at a number of UK ports.
“The UK leaving the European Union will mean significant new additional responsibilities for local councils to check goods entering the country. The additional work required to prepare the UK border for the end of the transition period will be extremely challenging, as the small number of specialist staff who carry out these checks are also needed at the frontline of the fight against COVID-19. Often these are highly specialist roles and councils find it hard to recruit for these positions due to this.
“Councils need urgent support from the government to provide help with recruiting more staff to do these additional checks, as well as preparing local roads and other infrastructure for the impact of new local transit points for ports. We have raised these issues with the government this week and will continue to work with them to make sure our exit from the EU is as smooth as possible.”