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Frozen carrots and mud causing Northern Ireland hauliers headaches

First Minister Arlene Foster believes Boris Johnson should invoke Article 16


Frozen carrots are proving difficult to import from GB to Northern Ireland (PA).

Frozen carrots are proving difficult to import from GB to Northern Ireland (PA).

Frozen carrots are proving difficult to import from GB to Northern Ireland (PA).

Frozen carrots and diggers covered in mud have caused huge difficulties for haulage companies trying to get supplies into Northern Ireland.

Local companies have been forced to complete a raft of new documentation on goods coming into Northern Ireland as part of the NI Protocol, which is part of the Withdrawal Agreement.

The protocol is designed to allow the free movement of goods from the EU into Northern Ireland, preventing the need for a hard border but it has led to a de facto Irish Sea border.

A lorry carrying frozen carrots and mixed herbs at a depot in Lymm just outside Warrington, Chesire, has been waiting for nine days to get clearance to board a ferry from Birkenhead to Belfast.

A haulage firm in Lisburn has been trying to persuade the British supplier that the carrots were ordered on December 27, but they have been classed as an export.

Meanwhile, Logistic UK’s Seamus Leheny, said he recently spoke to a business in Northern Ireland after it was told that their digger was not allowed to leave GB for Northern Ireland as there was soil on its tracks.

“The digger wasn't allowed to come to Northern Ireland until it was fully power washed and cleaned,” he explained.

It comes after the EU backtracked on its move to invoke Article 16 of the Brexit Protocol on Friday in an attempt to control shipments of vaccine jabs coming into Northern Ireland.

First Minister Arlene Foster has now called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to use Article 16 in order to help ease trade between GB and Northern Ireland.

She added that it is a “dereliction of duty” by Mr Johnson to allow UK citizens to suffer due to the current difficulties around trade.

“We have a bizarre situation now that you cannot even have British soil coming into Northern Ireland,” Mrs Foster told BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster. “I have never heard anything so bizarre in all my life.

“As if something coming from the mainland is going to cause great difficulties in Northern Ireland. That needs to be sorted out.

“We need to sort the issues around food, agri-machinery, parcels and pets.

“Let’s be clear, this is affecting everybody in Northern Ireland. It’s not just affecting unionists, it’s affecting nationalists, it’s affecting everybody in Northern Ireland.”

Mrs Foster believes that due to the EU’s actions on Friday, the bar has been pulled down regarding as and when Article 16 can be invoked.

“They have pulled the bar down now so that we can see that it can be used to deal with - not just in their case anticipating trade flow problems - but actually dealing with trade flow problems we have at present and they are very real,” she continued.

“I find it patronising and insensitive for people to say we are dealing with teething problems.

“These are not teething problems, they are actually real problems affecting the lives of everyday businesses and everyday consumers.”

Belfast Telegraph