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UK Government refuses to pay the running costs of new border control posts

19 Jan 2022 3 minute read
Lorries ‘stacked’ awaiting clearance to pass through border regulations. Picture by the Welsh Government

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething has revealed the UK Government is refusing to fund the operating costs for two new border control posts being built in in Wales.

A total of 30 BCPs are being built across the UK to enable physical checks to be carried out on certain goods entering the UK from the EU as required under the Brexit trade deal.

Holyhead has already been confirmed as the location for one of the facilities, but a main contractor is yet to be appointed to oversee construction. The post other is expected to be built in Pembrokeshire, but the precise location is yet to be confirmed.

“This Government has always had an expectation that the UK Government would fund these facilities, as the introduction of border checks and the required infrastructure is a new pressure, caused by Brexit, Mr Gething observed in a written statement.

“Since the Spending Review, the UK Government has agreed in principle to fund build costs for both permanent and interim facilities upon submission of a reserve claim, supported by business cases for north and south west Wales.

“Only those costs which are absolutely necessary up to and including 2024-25 will be considered.

“While the UK Government has conditionally agreed to fund the construction costs of the BCPs, it has explicitly said it will not meet the operational costs.”

From July BCPs will be responsible for carrying out inspections on goods such as animals, plants and products of animal origin entering Wales from the Republic of Ireland.

Biosecure

All BCPs must be biosecure so that inspections of live animals, meat and plants can take place without risk of contamination and must also have vets on site to carry out inspections. They must also offer large parking areas for HGVs.

“I am therefore exploring interim arrangements at Welsh ferry ports to bridge the gap between the introduction of new controls in July 2022 and the finalisation of the permanent BCPs,” the minister added.

“This would constitute a ‘mixed’ regime whereby a basic level of checks will be completed at the temporary facilities in conjunction with continued checks at destination for certain commodities.

“We are developing these plans with input from the local authorities, relevant enforcement agencies (including the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and Border Force), as well as the ports.

“This approach will allow commodities to continue to flow through the ferry ports, while ensuring checks are carried out to limit risk to biosecurity and food safety.  After July 2022, we can consider the enduring arrangements for Pembrokeshire.”


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Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
8 months ago

Simples, shut the port. The disgusting mismatch in funding for the proposed Freeport is insult enough without having to pay to keep them open avoiding taxes.

How do the North Walian Tory MP’s explain why 6 years after the referendum they still haven’t built lorry parks to “Get Brexit Done”? Was that a lie too?

Dewi
Dewi
8 months ago

Surely as this is a direct result of Brexit it should be the UK Government’s responsibility to fund the operating cost – otherwise, traffic from Ireland should allowed to enter without any checks as the UK is abdicating its responsibility.

hdavies15
hdavies15
8 months ago
Reply to  Dewi

Far better action than shutting the port. Let them flow in unchecked other than basic licensing and safety checks. Arguable that all the nonsense about tariffs etc should be binned anyway. Engage in tariff free trade and only impose tariffs on those nations that fail to reciprocate with a given time period. Trade should enforce quality standards many of which were already in place and were only under threat when Tories wanted to allow shoddy goods to be produced in this country or imported from other lax sources.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
8 months ago

Every time the UK government does something Wales takes a hit – fund your failed brexit project yourself for goodness sake! It’s bad enough that lorries will be parked up everywhere polluting the countryside! Why are we always shat on?

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
8 months ago

I thought border control was the responsibility of the Westminster government and should therefore be funded by Westminster.

However, if the Welsh government has to fund it then that must mean that border control is the responsibility of the Welsh government.

And if border control is Cardiff’s responsibility then international trade must be as well.

And if international trade is the responsibility of the Welsh government then that must mean that we are independent.

Erasmus
Erasmus
8 months ago

There’s no money for nothing and nobody, not for farmers, fishermen, railways or customs officers.
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