Cream cakes being exported to the EU face new Brexit red tape from next month.
British firms will need export health certificates signed by vets before their foods containing dairy products are deemed safe to be sold on the continent.
MPs were told yesterday that foods hit by the paperwork from April 21 would include cream cakes such as a Victoria sponge and cheese.
It comes despite Boris Johnson insisting the trade deal agreed at Christmas allowed Britain to ‘have its cake and eat it’.
MPs were told yesterday that foods hit by the paperwork from April 21 would include cream cakes such as a Victoria sponge and cheese (file photo)
Environment Secretary George Eustice told the environment committee: ‘It is an extra bit of complexity for… confectionery and cake manufacturers.’
Asked why the UK was not imposing the same checks on imports from the bloc, he said they were ‘entirely futile’.
‘We have chosen to recognise that and be pragmatic in the way we’ve phased in checks,’ he added.
Meat products have required the strict export certificates since January, causing huge delays.
The minister admitted that it might not be worth some small British firms sending individual deliveries to Europe any more because of the added costs and red tape.
Environment Secretary George Eustice told the environment committee: ‘It is an extra bit of complexity for… confectionery and cake manufacturers’
He said: ‘You’ll get consolidation of several goods through wholesalers through export agents who will then, in the case of for instance cheese, might take several different types of artisan cheese from several different producers and take a lorry load across and redistribute it from from there.’
But he insisted that the flow of lorries across the Channel in February was almost back to normal levels after a sharp drop in January as a result of the Brexit disruption and Covid restrictions.
Mr Eustice raised the prospect of taking legal action against over one of the biggest Brexit flashpoints, the EU’s ban on live shellfish exports.
He said that once Brussels ratifies the deal, a specialist committee will be set up that can ‘deal with these sorts of disputes’.
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