Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to detail his planning for Brexit Sanitary and Phytosanitary checks.
Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs: My Department is currently scoping and implementing a cross-cutting programme of work as follows:
understanding the processes required to reduce friction on trade as far as is possible while meeting the legal requirements of our statutory role which is to carry out Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks at the point of entry;
understanding the IT requirements that will facilitate movement of trade while seeking to minimise the impacts on traders;
understanding the minimum requirements for each of the designated or potentially designated points of entry to Northern Ireland that will meet EU specifications.
This includes engaging with a range of key stakeholders to ensure appropriate measures are in place to facilitate the movement of goods and products between GB and Northern Ireland whilst complying with the statutory requirements of the Northern Ireland Protocol. I have been clear that I wish to implement the Northern Ireland Protocol in a way that maximises the flow of trade, and which works for Northern Ireland’s businesses and citizens.