NFU Cymru has expressed its deep disappointment and frustration at news the UK government has pushed back checks on goods coming into the UK from the EU for a fourth time.

Not only will rules which were due to come in to force in July now be delayed until 2023, but they will also not be introduced in their original form and have instead been scrapped in favour of an unknown system.

Reacting to this development, NFU Cymru president, Aled Jones said: ‘‘This news is deeply disappointing, and heaps further pressure on Welsh farming businesses who are already facing unprecedented increases in production costs.

‘‘What I find particularly frustrating is that our exports to EU destinations are subject to the full range of costly and burdensome checks and inspections, whilst at the same time our EU competitors continue to enjoy an extended grace period at the invitation of the UK government, giving them access to the prized UK market with little cost and bureaucratic burden. We recognise that this is a challenging situation for everyone, however the current arrangement is neither balanced nor fair and will come as another blow to farm businesses that are already struggling with enormous inflationary costs.’’

“I am really disappointed to see the UK Government deferring these checks once again, and in favour of an unknown, untested system. These checks are critical to the nation’s biosecurity, animal health and food safety and without them we really do leave ourselves at risk, we cannot simply cross our fingers and hope for the best.”