The UK’s largest supermarkets have warned the government of “significant disruption to food supplies” to Northern Ireland because of “unworkable” post-Brexit border arrangements.
Many supermarkets in the region have already been hit by rows of empty shelves because of the new border regime.
But in a letter to Cabinet Office secretary Michael Gove, chief executives of companies including Sainsbury, Marks and Spencer and Tesco UK warned that shortages would worsen when a Brexit grace period, which has exempted retailers from some arduous red tape, ends on March 31.
The supermarkets urged the government to take “a number of steps to work with us to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Northern Irish grocery market”.
The retailers also called on the government to begin an “open discussion” with the EU to explain why implementing the Irish protocol was “unworkable” in the current timeframe, raising the prospect of difficult negotiations with…