(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP
London: The boss of British retail giant Marks & Spencer hits out at London's plans for easing trade between Northern Ireland, the rest of the United Kingdom and the European Union in a letter seen on Thursday by AFP.
Archie Norman, a former Conservative MP, wrote to the party's Foreign Secretary James Cleverly telling him Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's approach could lead to higher prices.
Moves to put 'Northern Ireland only' or 'UK wide' labelling on packages to avoid EU customs checks would 'raise prices and reduce choice for consumers', and 'further disadvantage UK producers and farmers', he wrote.
Norman called instead for digital tracing.
He said 'labelling 'solves' a non-existent problem' because the vast majority of products 'can be covered by a digital solution sent through a 'green' or authorised channel'. Read Also
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'Almost all food retailers employ digital traceability and product-tracing digitally obviates the need for physical checks.'
Northern Ireland has been in political paralysis since the biggest pro-UK unionist party walked out of its power-sharing government in Belfast, in protest at a protocol governing post-Brexit trade for the territory.
Both the UK and the EU hope to break the impasse over the protocol before April's 25th anniversary of the peace accord that ended decades of fighting between Irish republicans and unionists loyal to Britain.
The criticism from Marks & Spencer chairman Norman follows on the heels of British billionaire and Brexit champion James Dyson, who said Sunak had a 'short-sighted' view of business operations.
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