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Friday, January 29, 2021

Brexit red tape leads to food being ditched

Anybody who thought leaving the EU would cut bureaucracy for businesses must surely have been disabused of that notion by now. The latest Brexit fiasco is reported in the today's Independent. THey say that ministers have admitted up to 142,000 tonnes of food could be wasted over the next six months because of Brexit border disruption:

An estimate drawn up by the government as an "illustration of what we could reasonably expect" suggests food, drink and feed equivalent to 96 million whole chickens may end up being thrown away.

It comes as fishermen protested outside Downing Street earlier this month complaining that new paperwork was causing lengthy delays at borders and seeing entire consignments wasted.

Meanwhile UK meat exporters have warned of produce being confiscated and impounded by French authorities at Calais due to incorrect paperwork, describing the new system as "convoluted, archaic and badly implemented".

Labour said businesses were "paying the price" for the government's lack of preparation and trying to blame exporters for the effects of their new bureaucracy.

Pressed about the wastage in a written parliamentary question, Conservative food minister Rebecca Pow said: “The Government carried out a worst-case scenario analysis to ensure there was sufficient waste management capacity to handle any additional waste arising.

"Over a six month period the Reasonable Worst Case Scenario for perishable goods including food, feed and drink was 142 kilotonnes and to date disruption has been minimal.”

But the analysis itself, published by the Cabinet Office, warns that "disruption could be lower in the initial days of January but we would expect sustained disruption to worsen over the first two weeks as freight demand builds".

Boris Johnson and other ministers have written the issues off as "teething problems" but exporters now have to fill in export and entry declarations and apply for other paperwork for their consignments before they can move.

Many businesses lack the expertise to deal with the new bureaucracy, which did not exist inside the single market – with trained customs agents also in short supply.

The situation is leaving lorries stranded at ports for days, which has seen time-sensitive consignments left to spoil or be rejected altogether by their intended recipients.

Deliveries from France and Germany were at around 50 per cent of pre-Brexit levels last week as hauliers attempted to avoid red tape and queues.

And, as this omnishambles continues, Ministers are still planning to proceed with their Festival of Brexit, despite being in the middle of a pandemic and a red-tape shitstorm. Talk about being out of touch.
They are not interested in business (remember Johnsons comment 'fuck business').They will dismiss it as teething problems cos non of them run businesses. They are 'money makers' basically and most certainly EU haters. The 'little people' mean little to them. There wealth buys them what they need increased prices they can easily absorb.
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