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Post-Brexit premises in Larne ready by autumn


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New post-Brexit infrastructure for checks at Larne Harbour is expected to be in place by September

New post-Brexit infrastructure for checks at Larne Harbour is expected to be in place by September

New post-Brexit infrastructure for checks at Larne Harbour is expected to be in place by September

New post-Brexit infrastructure for checks at Larne Harbour is expected to be in place by September.

The new premises will replace the current Department of Agriculture inspection point at Redlands Road.

It has been designed for the inspection of food and live animals and will include pens and an unloading area for horses when they arrive from other parts of the UK.

Responsibility for building the Irish Sea border lies with DUP minister Edwin Poots, whose party previously stated it was a "blood red line" they would not accept.

Last month, the council was told that the number of environmental health officers to be employed at Larne Port after Brexit is set to be doubled.

Twelve new environmental health officers employed by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council are based at the Jobs and Benefits Office at Pound Street temporarily after the original temporary accommodation was delayed for a couple of months.

Costs are covered by the Food Standards Agency.

The team is now working "24/7, in a 365 role on 12-hour shifts" carrying out documentation checks initially on goods moving into Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

These have been taking place since the first ship docked at Larne Harbour at 8am on January 1.

Speaking at a remote meeting of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council earlier this week, chief executive Anne Donaghy also told members: "There were a few delays on lorries at Larne Port to do with the customs side and paperwork not being accurate. It is something we have to continue to monitor. I would have no concerns at this stage."

Bannside TUV councillor Timothy Gaston said: "There are so many unanswered questions and that's what Mr Poots and the Irish Sea border has delivered for unionism in Northern Ireland."

Alliance councillor Robert Logan said that the Port of Larne has issued a certificate with the intention of building "substantial infrastructure" to cope with the demands of the Protocol.

DUP councillor Andrew Clarke went on to ask about the specifics of the checks and if these can be "speeded up". He was told that local government has a "limited role in the speed of the checks" but indicated that these must be carried out "swiftly".

The chief executive indicated that the council's instruction is to carry out documentation checks but physical checks may have to be carried out in the future.

Belfast Telegraph


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