A recent survey of food and drink manufacturers has found 43 per cent of those currently supplying Northern Ireland are planning not to do so in the first three months after the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31.
The research, carried out by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), found manufacturers were staying out of Northern Ireland because of uncertainty around tariffs and border checks.
FDF chief executive Ian Wright told MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee he believed there were more likely to be delays on goods travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland than from the UK to the EU.
“The question of how you prepare for supplies to Northern Ireland is not in the gift, by and large, of the Government in Westminster,” he said.
“It is at least a joint effort with the Government in Holyrood and through Cairnryan and the Welsh ports, Holyhead and Fishguard.
“I am not criticising the Welsh Government for this, but it is interesting that only yesterday morning the arrangements for the traffic flows at Holyhead were announced.
“There are only 15 days to go. All these arrangements are just too late for people to prepare.”
Mr Wright also told the committee UK food exporters to the EU were beginning to struggle due to the lack of clarity around future trading arrangements.
“We have seen a number of our colleagues across the industry begin to lose their customer base as a consequence of the uncertainty and the question marks over supply,” he said.
“We have seen quite big companies lose orders in the EU with a relative degree of regularity over the last six to eight weeks.”