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Bans on UK freight will affect pig sector

21st Dec 2020 / By Alistair Driver

Bans imposed by a number of countries on UK travel and freight will affect both UK pork exports and EU pork imports. 

Brexit delays lorriesFrance shut its border with the UK for 48 hours on Sunday due to concerns over the new strain of COVID-19 reported in the UK, meaning no lorries or ferry passengers will be able to sail from the port of Dover. This has exacerbated problems that have already seen long queues of freight lorries in Kent due to a combination of Brexit stockpiling and COVID-19 disruption.

More countries have imposed bans on travel and freight from the UK, with Hong Kong joining the likes of Switzerland, Germany, and Italy to suspend UK flights. Belgium, the Irish Republic and Canada have also suspended flights, while Austria is also set to bring in a ban, the BBC reports. Bans in other nations are set to last at least until January 31.

The prime minister will chair a meeting of the government's emergency committee, COBRA, later while EU member states are due to meet in Brussels to discuss a co-ordinated response.

Already much-reduced shipments of cull sows have been cancelled and the disruption could last for some days.

"Both exports and imports, as hauliers will be reluctant to enter the UK if they can't get out, will be affected and this will cause further disruption beyond that expected from January 1," said NPA senior policy adviser Rebecca Veale. 

Rebecca will be joining meetings to discuss the issue today, so keep an eye on the website for more updates.