Retail NI has demanded immediate clarification from the UK Government on the three month ‘grace period’ for supermarkets announced by Michael Gove in his House of Commons statement, asking if it applies to local independent retailers and wholesalers?
This grace period will give supermarkets extra time to phase in new checks, ensuring food supplies from GB to NI do not face disruption from 1st January.
Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:
“Following Michael Gove’s statement, Retail NI has asked for immediate clarification that the three-month supermarket grace period applies to our wholesale and independent retailer members”
‘At a meeting today with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, I asked him directly if this applied to our members and he did not answer my question. Instead, an official gave a vague response that more information might be made available in the near future”
“It is absolutely unacceptable that the UK Government could make a major statement and not have this information available, which could potentially result in a third of our local independent food and grocery sector being at a competitive disadvantage to large supermarkets”
‘We only have just over 3 weeks to go until 1st January and thousands of local independent retailers deserve better than this from the UK Government”
“The Secretary of State needs to immediately address my question”