A Brexit border control post in Holyhead is set to shrink under plans for a lighter touch system using more data and technology. In May, the UK Government delayed introducing more checks on EU goods entering the UK for the fourth time over fears it will impact supply chains and add to rising inflation.
The planned controls include prohibitions and restrictions on the import of chilled meats from the EU, safety and security declarations, and changes to sanitary and phytosanitary checks on plant and animal products. These have been put back to the end of 2023 and UK Government is reviewing how they will implement them to “harness the power of data and technology”. The EU implemented equivalent checks on UK goods back in January 2021.
Welsh Government is responsible for carrying out these checks at Welsh ports – with UK Government in charge of the separate £45m HMRC Inland Border Facility(IBF) for customs checks at the former Roadking lorry park. The change to the strategy means Welsh Government wants to revise its application for its Border Control Post.
This will be a smaller facility with the added benefit of a permanent small lorry park thanks to the extra space created. Holyhead lost its major lorry park when HMRC took on the old Roadking site, although this site won’t offer the same level of facilities, which included a cafe.
Welsh Government today said: “The Welsh Government is seeking to develop Plot 9, Parc Cybi, Holyhead into a Border Control Post to service the Port of Holyhead. The site is required because there is currently insufficient space within the port to process the future checks required following the end of the UK’s transition period with the EU on 31 December 2020.
“The site would be used as a location to inspect goods such as animals, plants and products of animal origin entering Wales via the Port of Holyhead. These checks are the responsibility of the Welsh Government.
“The site would include parking areas for HGVs and other vehicles as well as security measures and facilities to enable the checking of vehicles and goods entering and exiting the site. The Welsh Government’s proposed use of the site will require approval, which it is seeking under the requirements of a Special Development Order (SDO), a legislative request for planning permission.
“Following changes in the UK Government’s approach to border controls, the facility is now planned to be smaller than initially envisaged, this allows for some land to continue to be used for HGV parking and the SDO is being amended to reflect this. The HGV parking area will allow for 60 vehicles and there will be shower and toilet facilities.”
This may reduce the number of jobs at the control post. The HMRC site – where up to 200 people are to be employed – is not affected.
The Special Development Order allows the Government to fast track the application through planning. People now have until December 6 to comment on the revised proposals.