Northern Ireland news

Checks on kosher meats 'insane' Boris Johnson tells Belfast Jewish community

The Reverend David Kale (left) with Boris Johnson at the Belfast Jewish Community Synagogue on Monday

CHECKS on kosher meats entering Northern Ireland from Britain are "insane", Boris Johnson has told members of Belfast’s Jewish community.

The British Prime Minister made the comments during a visit to a north Belfast synagogue on Monday evening.

Mr Johnson’s cavalcade stopped at the premises on Somerton Road following political talks at Hillsborough Castle.

The visit followed concerns expressed by leading figures in the local Jewish community over checks on kosher meats crossing the Irish Sea under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The absence of a kosher butcher in the north means supplies have traditionally been sourced from Manchester.

The Belfast Jewish Community has previously spoken out over what it called new levels of red tape and bureaucracy the protocol has introduced for the small businesses which supply the congregation.

The Reverend David Kale, minister for Belfast’s Jewish community, last year called for an exemption to be made on religious grounds.

A Downing Street spokesperson said Mr Johnson told those present that he was "heartily sickened" by the disruption to the supply of kosher meat here.

"There is simply no need for such laborious checks on products uniquely important to the Jewish community being moved from Great Britain into Northern Ireland," said the Prime Minister.

"It’s insane that these checks are taking place and we will see this situation resolved."

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Northern Ireland news