The delays received mixed reviews from the sector with some stating further delays on the import of continental goods such as fresh food was the “last thing” hospitality needed while others believed a delay in full import checks could “only be a good thing.”
Frisco Group managing director Heath Ball said: “It can only be good news the full import checks have been delayed.
“We were promised cheaper food and more money to the NHS, but what has happened is more expensive food, no additional money to the NHS, a once in a generation recruitment, and a cost-of-living crisis.
“It's difficult to find much positivity among all of that, delay or no delay.”
However, food prices and shortages are not the only thing impacted by the importing delay while the sector has seen untold volatility since Brexit, according to head chef at the Unruly Pig in Woodbridge, Suffolk, Dave Wall.
Wall said: “Since Brexit we have been faced with untold shortages of goods and volatility with food purchasing.
“Never before have we known such variance on price and so frequent non-availability on ordering.
“One shimmer of silver lining is a turn to British goods, but unfortunately there are some ingredients which just cannot be grown in the UK as they require a more temperate climate.
“The difficulty on importing also affects equipment, huge amounts of catering equipment used in the UK are produced in France and Italy and this has had a massive knock-on to the price and availability of critical equipment.
Stable supply chains
“In a climate where our country is facing inflation from every angle, further delays on sorting out continental imports is the very last thing we need.”
Rees-Mogg stated the Government has now aimed for the new controls regime to start by the end of 2023, meaning the post-Brexit checks on European goods will not be in practice until almost four years since the UK formally left the EU in January 2020.
British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “As an industry we rely on secure and stable supply chains to do business.
“Of course, wherever possible, we would like to be able to minimise costs and the complexity of both importing and exporting key food and drink products, as well as ingredients and raw materials, between the UK and EU, but safety and security is of paramount importance throughout the process.”