The M&S chair has attacked the post-Brexit rule for Northern Ireland as ‘meaningless’

The chairman of Marks & Spencer has backed the government’s plan to override parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol, saying some food exported south of the border now requires 700 pages of customs documents, partly written in Latin.

Archie Norman, a former Conservative MP, called on the UK government and the EU to come to an agreement, saying that food delivery rules between them were “extremely bureaucratic and quite meaningless” because British food standards were higher or higher than theirs. Of Brussels.

Norman says: “At the moment, wagons arriving in the Republic of Ireland have to carry 700 pages of documentation. It takes eight hours to prepare the documentation. It has to be in a specific typeface. “

He said the UK government’s proposal to ignore parts of the agreement signed by Boris Johnson as part of the Brexit agreement and to remove checks on goods crossing the Irish Sea was a “victory of common sense over rule-based mentality” and would ensure “one-time inflation.” “People can get fresh food that they are used to and deserve.”

Norman told the BBC that since Brexit, it has now taken more than 30% of the driver’s time to export to Ireland, and that Scotland’s Motherwell needed to hire 13 VATs to handle the necessary checks and paperwork, with M&S spending an additional 30m. “It’s very difficult,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.

Due to the border with the Republic of Ireland, similar protocols need to be imposed on travel products between mainland UK and Northern Ireland, but checks are currently closed under a series of “simplifications”.

Removing these benefits would mean “every piece of butter in a sandwich must have an EU vet certificate,” Norman said.

“The EU is looking at us to impose comparative controls for Northern Ireland and if this continues to happen then this means that a lot of goods from the UK will not go to Northern Ireland and what will go there will be very expensive,” Norman said.

“Marks & Spencer is a big company, bureaucratic. We can do almost anything, but for a small artisan cheesemaker or cake baker it is impossible to export.”

Norman said an EU proposal that every product from the UK mainland to Northern Ireland should be labeled exclusively for use in the UK, for example, would cost M&S ​​£ 9m a year.

He said it was important to find a solution in light of the possibility of food inflation reaching 8 to 10 per cent by the end of this year.

The M&S chair said British consumers were still spending on building savings during the epidemic, but warned: There is nothing left between their money and Kitty. “

The choice of M&S is that the UK and EU agree to maintain the same food standards so that no checks are required. “Our food quality is probably the highest in the world and so we should recognize it and the product should flow to France, not just Northern Ireland. [Irish] Republic, “said Norman.

“The UK government was very careful about that. The idea that Brexit may have some potential, that it could deviate in the future has raised some concerns, and the EU is certainly not ready to think about it. “

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