Agenda item

Update on the impact of the UK leaving the EU (Brexit) on Port Health & Public Protection

Report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection.


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection which outlined the current position relating to Brexit and the representations made by Port Health and Public Protection in line with the key principles previously agreed by the Committee.


 A Member noted there had not yet been any clear messages from the Government with guidance on next steps and asked at what point would the Department begin preparing and implementing mitigation plans for March 2019 in the absence of Government advice. It was further noted that recognition had been given by Senior Government officials on the limited availability of EU vets in the United Kingdom and noted the recent media attention given to the Port of Rotterdam and the additional resourcing required because of Brexit.


In response to the points raised, the Director of Port Health and Public Protection explained that due to an expected 25% increase in workload should imports from the EU be subject to border controls following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in March 2019, the Team are working with Border Co-ordination to obtain timelines, particularly as up to one year of training is required for the vets and other officers employed to work at Border Control Points. At present, there was likely to be a shortage of vets with seven currently employed and a potential requirement for at least two more.


Members raised their concerns at the possibility of insufficient time to implement plans by March 2019 and explaining that as these were issues which could not wait, the City Corporation should begin implementing contingency plans. The Chairman asked officers to give this further consideration and that a report be presented in July 2018 addressing the points raised.


In response to a Member’s request for an update on the need to obtain larger premises for received cargo, the Director of Port Health and Public Protection explained that infrastructure is a responsibility of the Ports and depending on the classification assigned to the UK following Brexit, the current infrastructure may not be sufficient for the level of imports requiring inspection.


Members commended the Team for their proactive work in this area.


RESOLVED – That the Committee:

a)    note the progress made to date; and

b)    approve the next steps as outlined in paragraphs 17 and 18 in the report before Members, with a further report to be provided in July 2018 addressing the issues raised by Members.

Supporting documents: