Minister claims coronavirus pandemic, not Brexit, responsible for empty Northern Ireland shop shelves
- Credit: Sky News
The secretary of state for Northern Ireland Brandon Lews has denied empty shop shelves in the country are because of Brexit.
There have been calls from action from the government to resolve the trade chaos in the country following the end of the transition period which severed links between the EU and UK.
But Lewis told Sky News that the issue in shops is most likely due to the issues at Dover as a result of coronavirus pandemic.
He said: "The unfettered access was always about Northern Ireland businesses into Great Britain - yes there is.
"The flow of food and goods linked to the EU and the Northern Ireland Protocol has been good actually."
He added: "Where we've seen some images of empty shelves in Northern Ireland - although let's be clear we've seen them across the UK recently - has been linked to Covid and some of the challenges we've had at Dover due to Covid just before Christmas and the flow through the supply line of that rather than through the protocol.
"Supermarkets we've been talking to regularly have good flows of supply and that's important to Northern Ireland, being an integral part of the United Kingdom."
- 1 Brexit stripped me of my Britishness
- 2 Cost of Brexit is already 38 times more than the money set aside for levelling up
- 3 What IS the liberal response to the migrant crisis?
- 4 What I learned by avoiding England and the Euros
- 5 Boris Johnson enjoys splendid isolation
- 6 Boris Johnson: The sado-populist prime minister
- 7 The Tories have already lost the culture wars
- 8 Has something shifted in sado-populist Britain?
- 9 Priti Patel - the poster girl for our poisonous politics
- 10 It's now clear what sovereignty means
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.