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Brexit Weekly Digest - 23 April

This week, Boris Johnson speaks about removing NI border control checks; the Department for Transport removes Kent Access Permits, and Defra has issued a reminder for EU Animal Health Regulations.

Boris Johnson pledges to cut Northern Ireland checks

This week Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke in an interview with BBC Spotlight about the Northern Ireland border. The interview was filmed as part of a BBC Spotlight film celebrating the centenary of Northern Ireland: ‘BBC Spotlight: A Contested Centenary’.

Johnson said the Brexit border checks in Northern Ireland are “ludicrous” and he is now “sandpapering” the “unnecessary protuberances and barriers” of the protocol he signed with the EU in January 2020.

Johnson has also shown no concerns over invoking article 16, which allows either London or Brussels to temporarily suspend the protocol, if he believes the Northern Ireland border checks are not working in the interest of the United Kingdom, The Guardian reports.

Last week reports showed UK Agriculture Secretary, George Eustice, had asked for his Northern Ireland counterpart, Edwin Poots, to progress temporary border control posts (BCPs) into permanent premises “without delay”. This week, it has been revealed such premises are not expected to be built before 2023.


Lorry permit to enter Kent scrapped and M20 barrier removed

Kent Access Permits (KAPs) for EU-bound heavy goods vehicles entering Kent has been scrapped. The permit scheme was introduced on 1 January by the Department for Transport (DfT), in a bid to “avoid delays” at the Dover border.  

The DfT said the scheme was “instrumental in avoiding delays at the border” but KAPs are no longer needed “thanks to hauliers arriving at the border prepared”.

“The removal of the KAP on 20 April will mean less paperwork for hauliers, making it quicker and easier to cross the border, further supporting the already smooth flow of goods from the UK into Europe.”


New Animal Health Regulation and composite rules apply from 21 April 2021

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued a reminder about the new EU Animal Health Regulation (AHR) and composite rules applying from 21 April 2021. Further information on AHR is available, plus a link to the presentation from a previous Defra webinar and a list of frequently asked questions.


Updated GOV.UK guidance

GOV.UK have updated several guidance and regulation documents this week, including:

Always refer to GOV.UK for latest guidance and regulations regarding the EU exit.

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