Jewish community in Northern Ireland unable to get kosher meat due to Brexit

Graffiti reading 'No Irish Sea border' Stroud Street in Belfast

Graffiti reading 'No Irish Sea border' Stroud Street in Belfast - Credit: PA

The Jewish community is struggling to get kosher meat in time for the Passover festival due to post-Brexit arrangements, the DUP has claimed.

Extra paperwork as a result of the Northern Ireland Protocol has caused a series of bureaucratic obstacles since the end of the post-Brexit transition period.

Northern Ireland has a small Jewish community centred around north Belfast and a central part of the Passover meal is lamb.

First minister Arlene Foster said: “This is something which is very concerning.

“We have a very small Jewish community here in Northern Ireland. The fact that they cannot access kosher meat is something that would cause me a great deal of concern.”


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The Jewish Passover festival begins towards the end of this month and it is one of the most important dates in the faith’s calendar.

The UK government has unilaterally extended some grace periods associated with the Protocol in a bid to avoid a cliff-edge plunge into extra paperwork.



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The Protocol is a post-Brexit arrangement designed to keep the Irish border open by ensuring Northern Ireland continues to follow the EU’s trading rules.

The DUP has vowed to overthrow it over fears it damages the integrity of the UK internal market and Northern Ireland’s place in it.

Foster told the Stormont Assembly the Protocol was affecting trade and identity for those who view themselves as unionists.

“There is a need not just to tinker at the edges, there is a need to have a replacement of the Protocol.

“There is a need to deal with that urgently because there is damage happening to the economy in Northern Ireland.”

The EU has threatened legal action and described the decision to extend the grace periods as a potential breach of international law.

Foster said the variation had to happen otherwise some product lines would have quickly dried up.

“I listened very clearly to what the business community want and they do not want the continuation of what we have seen in this Protocol.”

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