Work is paused on Border Check Point
Plans to create a Border Check Point (BCP) to serve the ports at Cairnryan, following the UK’s departure from the European Union, have been paused.
The Scottish Government started work last autumn to build a BCP which would apply devolved sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls on EU goods arriving into Scotland from Belfast and Larne.
Engagement with all stakeholders (the UK Government, Dumfries and Galloway Council and other officials) to determine the scope, scale and specification of this work has been taking place.
However, it is claimed the UK Government has failed to provide any assurances over the funding for this infrastructure and how Northern Irish goods would access the UK without the need for checks - as agreed through the Northern Ireland Protocol.
As such the Scottish Government decided to pause the work until it receives “greater clarity on the long term funding, the need for this infrastructure, and more information about the timescales when controls might come into effect”.
This was revealed to South Scotland list MSP Emma Harper when she brought up the matter in Parliament with Rural Affairs Secretary, Mairi Gougeon.
She said: “Scotland, and indeed Dumfries and Galloway, did not vote to leave the EU. Despite this, we face a situation where we are being dragged out against our will and the reality of this is that there is now a trade border in the Irish Sea.
“The UK Government must wake up to this. Until they do, the Scottish Government have made the right – and perhaps only - decision to pause work the Border Check Point until being provided with the assurances we need.
“Any responsible Government would do as the Scottish Government have done - fulfil its obligation to create a check point to allow unfettered access for goods traveling between nations. However, it seems the UK Government don’t see this as a priority.
“This looks like it will be the next burach in a long line of disasters caused by the obsession with Brexit, and I w ill continue to pursue it.”