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Jersey: Brexit threatens Channel Island’s supply of fresh produce

The import of fresh produce to Jersey is under ‘serious threat’ post-Brexit, a leading retailer has warned, as the Island’s farms and supermarkets consider stockpiling goods in case of a no-deal scenario.

With parliament due to vote on premier May’s Brexit deal next Monday, businesses are preparing for the possibility that the flow of trade between the UK and EU could be seriously affected, particularly if her proposals are rejected.

Turmoil could be generated after ‘Brexit day’ on 29 March, as new customs checks would slow the delivery of freight from the continent, with a number of UK ports, such as Hull and Folkestone, preparing to take more imports if Dover struggles with capacity.

With Jersey largely relying on imports from the UK, retailers have warned that the Island would not be immune from disruption. Channel Islands Co-op chief executive Colin Macleod said that the stockpiling of goods was ‘under active consideration’ by the supermarket.

Tony O’Neill, chief executive of SandpiperCI which runs the Island’s Morrisons Daily and Marks and Spencer franchises, told that the Brexit situation was ‘very complicated’ and stockpiling would not prevent a potential shortage of fresh produce.

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