The Government has warned about the extra layer of paperwork which will be applied from 1 April on Irish agri-food exports moving to Britain.

This week, it stepped up the urgency of its advice to businesses to be ready for the UK requiring veterinary health certificates on goods of animal or plant origin from 1 April. Physical inspections are due to be introduced from 1 July.

Since 1 January, these controls have only applied to Irish imports coming inwards from Britain. They caused widespread chaos in January as businesses struggled to cope with the increased administration.

The same rules apply to imports from Britain to Northern Ireland because of the Northern Ireland Protocol. These have been politically controversial and last weekend the acting Northern Ireland agriculture minister, the DUP’s Gordon Lyons, ordered work on building permanent inspection facilities at ports to cease .

With Irish exporters required to comply with providing veterinary certificates with exports to Britain from 1 April, the red tape burden of Brexit will be increased.

Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has warned that this, in addition to exporters avoiding Britain as a landbridge option to the EU and trucks returning empty, has added considerable costs to doing business.