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Land identified for border control and export checks in Pembrokeshire ports

LAND is being identified for border control and export checks at Pembrokeshire’s ports following the Brexit transition period with a phased approach from January 1.

Members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s cabinet were updated on the authority’s ‘brexit preparedness’ on Monday (October 5) with a further report due at next month’s meeting.

The council’s Brexit preparedness strategy was based on a no deal Brexit and requires updating to allow for aspects where greater clarity has been providing, while acknowledging there are “still areas of doubt and uncertainty.”

Council leader Cllr David Simpson said that Brexit may be a national policy by the authority was “responsible for the well being of Pembrokeshire” and had to be ready for its impacts “good or bad.”

Director of communities Dr Steven Jones told cabinet Fishguard and Pembroke Dock ports will need to introduce border control checks the first phase of which will be January 1st, then April 1 and finally July 1, which will “require strengthening of the council’s port health team.”

Dr Jones added that the council had been working with Welsh Government and HMRC “to examine potential sites that could be used for border control checks” and the traffic created.

Additional ‘export health certificates’ for fishery products for human consumption will be required for export to EU countries, in addition to the existing requirement for exports outside the EU, as well as checks on exports coming to the UK.

Dr Jones other issues following the end of the transition period include a lack of European structural and investment funds, with “very little information” on any replacement.

“Very little information has come out of UK government on what that shared prosperity fund will mean,” said Dr Jones.

Welsh Government grants have been received to increase the number of vulnerable people applying for settled status – £3,200 – and increasing capacity for EHC issuing – £32,000 – with the impact on workforce of EU nationals also a concern.

Other areas highlighted include agricultural and farming implications and business awareness of the need to prepare for Brexit.

The council’s Brexit preparedness panel will meet again to prepare an update on the situation for the November cabinet meeting.

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