The Government hasn’t put in the effort to ensure sufficient inspections at the new border

30 April 2024

A new border between the UK and the EU comes into force today meaning that imports of plants and animals will have to be checked by UK officials before being distributed around the country.


There have been numerous reports that the Border is not ready and that there are insufficient inspectors to carry out the necessary checks. This could impact on British business as well as increasing the possibility that invasive species could find their way into the country.

Checks are carried out by Prospect members at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Mike Clancy, General Secretary of Prospect, said:

“We have known for years that this crunch point is coming and yet the Government hasn’t put in the effort to ensure there will actually be enough people to carry out the inspection work.

“APHA has a huge problem with recruitment and retention, mainly due to structural issues including a lack of pay progression and people being able to get better pay elsewhere in the Civil Service. Many of those originally recruited to work on the new border have already left those roles for these reasons.

“Prospect members are doing all they can to make the new border a success but there aren’t enough of them and the level of workload this puts on those who remain is unsustainable.

“This situation is being replicated across the Civil Service where long-term pay decline has seen experienced staff leave and stretched vital services to breaking point.”