HTA responds to Michael Gove’s letter regarding Northern Ireland protocol
11 February 2021
The Horticultural Trades Association has released a statement responding to British cabinet minister Michael Gove’s letter to the vice president of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic regarding Northern Ireland protocol.
“We are encouraged that the UK government has recognised the need for the trade and movement of plants, seeds and plant products to be resolved as part of its Northern Ireland Protocol discussions with the European Commission,” said James Barnes, chairman at the HTA.
“However, we need to see some urgent progress on this matter. Everyday GB-based growers are deciding not to trade with businesses in Northern Ireland because of the additional cost and regulatory burdens, negatively impacting our sector both sides of the Irish sea. We need to see a reciprocal arrangement on the removal of prohibitions for our industry, not a long-winded official application process.
“The government must also ensure that they tackle with the EU the wider export restrictions to ensure British plant sellers can export easily and with minimal red tape to buyers across Europe. We need a common-sense approach to enable mutually beneficial trade.”
It has been reported that Sefcovic is travelling to London to meet with Gove to discuss the issue further.