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UK’s Johnson vows to resolve Northern Ireland’s Brexit-related kosher food shortage

Speaking at a Belfast synagogue, British PM says no need for ‘laborious checks’; Northern Ireland remained in EU single market despite UK exit from bloc, complicating shipments

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Hilltop Honey in Newtown, Powys, Wales, May 20, 2022.  (Ben Birchall/Pool via AP)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Hilltop Honey in Newtown, Powys, Wales, May 20, 2022. (Ben Birchall/Pool via AP)

JTA — During a visit to a synagogue in Belfast, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to fix bureaucratic complications connected to Brexit that have caused kosher food shortages in Northern Ireland.

There is no need for “laborious checks on products uniquely important to the Jewish community being moved from Great Britain into Northern Ireland,” Johnson said on Monday. “We will see this situation resolved.”

Northern Ireland has remained in the European Union’s single market despite the fact that the United Kingdom, of which Northern Ireland is a part, pulled out of the bloc in 2020.

This fact has complicated shipments of food and other products from the United Kingdom to Northern Ireland, resulting in kosher food shortages, among other issues.

The Jewish community of Manchester in England is the main kosher food supplier for the Belfast Jewish Community Synagogue, which services that community of a few hundred people.

On Johnson’s visit to Belfast, he met with local politicians in the wake of the May 5 elections for the parliament of Northern Ireland, one of the four constituent countries that comprise the United Kingdom, along with Scotland, Wales and England.

Johnson is trying to facilitate the formation of a government coalition of parties with significantly different agendas, including varying views on Brexit.

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