The Scottish Government has said that in the absence of any such assurances from the UK Government, and given the enduring uncertainty surrounding the UK Government’s approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, that they have had to pause the construction of the BCP.
Work had started last autumn to build the border check point which would apply devolved sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls on EU goods arriving into Scotland from Belfast and Larne. The Scottish Government has been engaging with all stakeholders (the UK Government, Dumfries and Galloway Council and other officials) to determine the scope, scale and specification of this work.
However, they say UK government have failed to provide any assurances over the funding for this infrastructure and over how Northern Irish Goods would access the UK without the need for checks – as agreed through the Northern Ireland Protocol which guarantees unfettered access.
And they are now waiting for “greater clarity on the long term funding, the need for this infrastructure, and more information about the timescales when controls might come into effect.”
South Scotland MSP Emma Harper said: “Any responsible Government would do as the Scottish Government have done – fulfil its obligation to create a checkpoint to allow unfettered access for goods traveling between nations. However, it seems that the UK Government don’t see this as a priority.
“This is looking like it will be the next burroch in a long line of disasters caused by the Tories’ obsession with Brexit and it could not be clearer that the sooner Scotland is given the opportunity to vote for a different future, the better.
“I will continue to pursue this issue.”