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UK delays post-Brexit border checks from EU

British unemployment dips ahead of furlough ending

September 15, 2021 00:00:00

LONDON, Sept 14 (AFP): Britain said on Tuesday it would push back its implementation of full post-Brexit borders checks on goods from the European Union, as the pandemic, red tape and new immigration rules fuel supply problems.

Plans to introduce full controls in areas such as the import of food and animal products had been due from next month but would now start from January next year under a "pragmatic new timetable", Downing Street said.

Britain will still introduce full customs declarations and controls on January 1, 2022, as planned.

Certification and physical checks on food and animal goods designed to protect against diseases, pests and contaminants-due to be introduced on January 1 -- will now be introduced in July 2022.

Requirements for Safety and Security declarations will be also be pushed back to July.

"We want businesses to focus on their recovery from the pandemic rather than have to deal with new requirements at the border, which is why we've set out a pragmatic new timetable for introducing full border controls," said Minister David Frost.

"Businesses will now have more time to prepare for these controls which will be phased in throughout 2022.

"We remain on track to deliver new systems, infrastructure and resourcing needed for these controls," he added.

The pandemic and the effects of leaving the EU single market have left Britain short of truck drivers, causing supply problems, particularly in the food and drink sector.

The UK has similarly postponed the full implementation of post-Brexit rules governing trade from mainland Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) to Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, British unemployment dipped in July as the economy reopened further, official data showed Tuesday, but the outlook remains clouded with the government's furlough jobs support scheme ending soon.

Unemployment dropped to 4.6 per cent in the three months to the end of July compared with 4.7 per cent in the second quarter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

Vacancies are meanwhile at a record high with certain sectors including road haulage and hospitality seriously affected by a shortage of staff owing to the virus outbreak and Brexit.

At the same time, the number of UK workers on payrolls has rebounded above pre-pandemic levels, the ONS added Tuesday.

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