Tuesday 8 June 2021

A welcome back to Brexit and an EU sausage story

 Om my how much Covid-19 changed the world. For five years, the UK national conversation was nothing but the screeches of Brexit from all sides and endless comment and opinion pieces (I offer no defence, m'lud). Covid put a stop to all of that, we have heard little of Brexit since it was done.

Pre-dating even that, were the horror stories, originally more or less invented by one B. Johnson when the Telegraph's EU correspondent, about 'bendy bananas' and other such hilarious single market rules and regulations. This was a 20 year feast for British newspapers so to speak. 

And lo, here we are in 2021 and we get a perfect marrying of the two old trends. Firstly, the Northern Ireland compromise, never really a compromise and designed solely to get Brexit done as per instructions from the British electorate is coming unstuck. The EU have decided that the main reason for this is the importation of British sausages (and mince) to Northern Ireland that now require health certificates for Export to the EU - certificates which, um, don't exist in the EU.

This has long been a simmering issue and it a classic of its kind. The UK, on doing Brexit, knew there was this risk as the Industry bodies have highlighted it for ages. In a typical fudge, the UK extended a grace period whilst negotiations were ongoing. However, the EU does not have to budge and it has not. It will simply insist Northern Ireland imports from Ireland and the EU itself - after all that is the point of their closed single market! The Eu commissioner is wallowing in joy at being seen to be fair, yet beastly to the Brits. 

Meanwhile, the UK side can't believe the EU will be so intransigent and ignore all efforts to make exceptions for the UK. Lord Frost in particular, can't seem to understand the EU does not care about playing fair and sees the UK as a third country. 

In fact, the situation is about to get worse,  as for less high-risk meats such as frozen produce, the non-EU country of origin must be authorised for imports into the EU, and establishments that produce the meat must also be approved to follow EU standards. The UK has yet to be listed as such a country, which is cause of concern to British meat producers, some of which are heavily reliant on exports to the EU.

Brexit is back and back for good, I hope no one thought it would ever go away. Perhaps at the G7 meeting compromise will be reached, but it seems unlikely, the EU is being very tough, but is on solid legal ground on these issues and as we know, has past form for insisting on bizarre terms for food import and export. 


dearieme said...

"the horror stories, originally more or less invented ... about 'bendy bananas'"

Blair said they were lies, stories of rules about bendy bananas. So of course when I looked I found that there were indeed such rules (pretty much guaranteed since Blair lied as naturally as he breathed). There are rules on bendy cucumbers too.

Almost no allegation against the EU, however far fetched it sounds, will prove to be wrong on further investigation.

Bloke from the east of Brum said...

The wurst story of the day! Can you send me a link, please?

Anonymous said...

I really think if the EU are going to play silly buggers we should not be sodding around in the Baltic and Black Seas. Russia isn't going to invade anyway.

In fact we shouldn't be there full stop. We have kit and people to defend EE from Russian invasion, while an African invasion takes place every day.

I suppose the as-well-as thing to do is to just ignore their rules in NI. Don't the EU sell more to us than we do to them?

Anonymous said...

What's really annoying is that our sausages are much better than theirs. A good Cumberland from a butcher beats any old pferdwurst or saucisson.

Is this the EU functionaries, or is there a political vision behind all this? I tend to think the latter as the French and quite a few other countries have ignored EU rules where they din't fancy them.

Looks as if the vision is to be a permanent irritant/running sore, perhaps to encourage our own fifth column. I guess the last thing they want is a prosperous happy UK, they have to be unpleasant to encourager les autres.

Anonymous said...

btw, ND, what do you make of the apparent Biden acceptance of Nordstream 2 ?

I really thought we were heading towards Donets war as a way of killing NS2. But the ground is dry and nothing's (apparently*) happening.

* I say "apparently" because one's never sure if it would be reported unless it could be spun the right way.

Remember Stephen Lawrence? Well last year 3 young white men were walking through Batley when they met 6 Muslim youths coming the other way, total random meeting, they were attacked and stabbed, two seriously injured, one dead. The perps have just been convicted.

Any of you heard the name Bradley Gledhill on the news?

Anonymous said...

Just noticed the gay rainbow on the UK government twitter feed. Mugabe was right in the end!

30 June 2000
Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)
By Staff Writer/BBC

Harare — President Mugabe has accused British Foreign Office minister Peter Hain of having a homosexual affair with gay rights activist Peter Tatchell. In a BBC interview screened last Sunday Mugabe expanded on previous accusations that Labour formed a "gay government of a gay United Kingdom".

Don Cox said...

Bradley Gledhill:


At the end, a policeman is quoted as talking about "other victims".

Don Cox

Don Cox said...

The Co-Op supermarket that I use sells both ordinary sausages and several varieties of premium quality. The premium ones seem fine to me.

Take a look next time you're shopping: you don't have to buy cheap ones full f bread.

No doubt smugglers will find ways around any EU tiresomeness.

Don Cox

andrew said...

I recommend Daniel lamberts twitter feed on importing wine.
It seems the uk customs and excise are not interested in making it easy to import from the eu either.

Nick Drew said...

NS2 is a dreadful bit of realpolitik, Anon. Someone perhaps told Biden the Germans were going to make it work anyway, and gave him an argument about keeping his powder dry.

Given that their energy policy is utterly crazy and utterly unworkable, they are correspondingly hooked on (Russian) gas like the very worst form of addiction. They may not even able to carry through their new legislation on phasing out coal.

jim said...

Maybe Boris is playing a long game the ultimate aim of which is to unload NI but put the blame on the EU. What is not to like, the place is a cost burden, has no strategic value and would be better off reunified with the South - even though the South does not really want them.

Then our darling Arlene can snuggle up with Wee Twankey to develop an EU envelope around the UK and the EU can pick up the tab. Long term - 20 years or so - this should suit the UK very well allowing us to become part of the EU once again without anyone really noticing.

E-K said...

Had the IRA not waged a terror campaign the chances are that Ireland would have been quietly reunited decades ago.

But then a united Ireland was never what the terror campaign was really about, was it.

dearieme said...

What was it about, then?

iOpener said...

All government functionaries eventually become assholes, yours, ours, theirs, those at the gates of heaven.

Term limits for civil servants are far more important that limits for legislators. 10 years total government work, then you're out, everyone from PM to janitor.

Matt said...

@ dearieme

Selling lots of drugs.

Anonymous said...

Aren't we talking about two things here - my understanding (please correct me):

1. Flow of goods from UK in to NI - EU writes the rules but doesn't actually have any enforcement control - it can go to arbitration but the penalty is based on level of smuggling / damage to EU which is minimal - so no problem for the UK to blatantly flout rules when it comes to NI.

2. Flow of goods from UK in to RoEU - under the new trade deal the trade deficit with the EU has widened further to the point that the EU may not wish to ban UK meat exports because it may trigger the overall deal's collapse that could be very expensive for the EU.

On a separate note looking long term - questions which keep occurring to me - how likely is it that the EU will survive in the long term - especially if it isn't in the strategic interest of more and more countries for it not to survive? How stable is it?


E-K said...

Gangsterism, Dearieme.

Scrobs. said...

Has to be said...