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British MPs call for IT systems to support post-Brexit food trade

A parliamentary committee has warned that the UK needs to ensure its IT systems and infrastructure are fit for purpose to support agricultural exports once Britain leaves the EU.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has raised the issue as one of several in a report titled, Brexit: Trade in Food. The report focuses on the implications of there being no deal on trade reached by March of next year. It comes a few weeks after the Public Accounts Committee published a paper warning that it did not expect Whitehall departments to have the IT systems in place to deal with a ‘hard Brexit’.

According to an article by, the report certainly devotes much of its attention to tariffs and regulations, but it also highlights the need for IT systems that can deal with changes. Furthermore it states that the government has to invest in IT systems to support a more efficient export certification process to minimise delays in trade (particularly important in the case of agricultural products that could spoil if held up while going through customs).

While gathering evidence for the report, the committee was told by the National Union of Farmers that there is a need for IT systems that enable data to be shared along the supply chain and ensure health export certificates are in place.

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