Frustrated Channel Islands' farmers call out post-Brexit red tape and delays

  • ITV Channel reporter Alex Spiceley hears how farmers across the Channel Islands are struggling with extra red tape post-Brexit. Broadcast at 6pm on Monday 19 February

Channel Islands' farmers say they are frustrated that "layers of bureaucracy" and red tape post-Brexit are causing major challenges across the industry.

They add policies created after Britain left the European Union have caused delays in shipping essential items such as seeds and machinery, with imports from Europe that used to take two to three weeks now taking up to eight.

Guernsey Dairy's Julian Ogier said: "When we're buying directly from the EU, you may be told it's been dispatched but then a few days later told it's been returned to the supplier because the paperwork wasn't correct".

Jersey Dairy has taken the step to focus its trade on the UK and Asian markets to "minimise the impact of Brexit".

Managing Director Eamon Fenlon added: "There's so many different negative aspects to Brexit that add cost".

Other businesses, such as Jersey's Master Farms, have also said Brexit can drive running costs up by over 5%.

Head of Jersey's Farming Association Doug Richardson said: "Layers of bureaucracy seem to be added all the time.

"We are at a point now where it's probably fair to say enough is enough."

Jersey's Environment Minister, Deputy Steve Luce, said the Channel Islands abide by similar rules to the UK post-Brexit which has brought some extra checks.

He added: "Our aim is to achieve the right levels of protection for animal, plant and human health, but to balance that with minimising restrictions on trade and avoiding over-cumbersome red tape.

"We're working closely with DEFRA to ensure we're consistent on what are deemed to be potentially risky imports, and will adopt similar checks on produce and documentation."

The Minister explained that officials are working on a 'trusted trader' scheme that would allow some businesses to streamline paperwork on regular imports.

ITV News has contacted Guernsey's government for comment.