According to Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, the UK is downplaying the food supply issues in Northern Ireland.
"The supermarket shelves were full before Christmas and there are some issues now in terms of supply chains and so that's clearly a Brexit issue", Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told ITV.
Since the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, Britain has faced numerous problems with food exports to Europe. At the same time, the Northern Irish protocol, aimed to prevent an evident border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, means that the food coming from Britain is now facing additional checks.
The food check crisis is just one of the problems between Ireland and Britain caused by Brexit. While the UK is no longer part of the customs union with the EU, the Good Friday Agreement prohibits establishing a hard border between Ireland (which is a member of the bloc) and Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK. This collision creates a de facto customs border down the Irish Sea between NI and other parts of the kingdom.
According to previous reports, the food disruptions may force the British government to use Article 16 of the agreement's Northern Ireland Protocol, which allows London to take "appropriate safeguard measures” without consulting Brussels if the agreement leads to "serious economic, societal, or environmental difficulties".