Brexit: Drivers have sandwiches confiscated at Dutch border
Commentator James Withers said some boats are landing in Denmark to avoid “Brexit bureaucracy”. He wrote on Twitter: “If boats fish in UK waters, but land in Denmark, processors here are cut out of trade. If this becomes a new pattern, its a huge concern for processors here. “Fish landed in Denmark (trucked to France/Spain) is traded within single market, so avoids a lot of Brexit bureaucracy. “Most hauliers still not taking “groupage” (multiple products from different companies in one load). “Bureaucracy too complex & IT systems creaking. A few started again yesterday, but very small volumes. So road to EU market is now blocked for many food exporters (not just seafood).”
It comes after footage broadcast by Dutch TV network NPO 1 showed border officials confiscating ham sandwiches from one driver arriving in the Netherlands from the UK. A Dutch border official was seen telling him:”Since Brexit, you are no longer allowed to bring certain foods to Europe, like meat, fruit, vegetables, fish, that kind of stuff.”
After telling them the sandwiches had meat in them, the border official said: “Okay, so we take them all.”
The driver then asked the officials if he could keep the bread, but one replied: “No, everything will be confiscated – welcome to the Brexit, sir. I’m sorry.”
The Government issued guidance to commercial drivers travelling to the EU, by warning them to “be aware of additional restrictions to personal imports”.
The guidance stated: “You cannot bring POAO (products of an animal origin) such as those containing meat or dairy (e.g. a ham and cheese sandwich) into the EU.
Brexit LIVE: EU fishermen are dodging rules by landing in Denmark despite plundering UK waters (Image: GETTY)
“There are exceptions to this rule for certain quantities of powdered infant milk, infant food, special foods, or special processed pet feed.”
The European Commission added the ban is necessary because such goods “continue to present a real threat to animal health throughout the Union”.
The commission wrote on its website: “It is known, for example, that dangerous pathogens that cause animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease and classical swine fever can reside in meat, milk or their products.”
Nicola Sturgeon has been pestering President of the European Commission (EC) Ursula von der Leyen and other Brussels officials with letters and emails in a desperate attempt to get Scotland to rejoin the EU, leaked correspondence seen by Express.co.uk shows.
About 25 letters and emails released under Freedom of Information laws between January and November last year reveal SNP ministers have been holding discussions with EU officials making the case for Scotland to rejoin the EU. But Ms von Der Leyen refused Ms Sturgeon’s apparent request for a role in the negotiations.
In a letter obtained by Express.co.uk, the EC chief said: “As you are aware, the European Commission will only negotiate with the Government of the United Kingdom.
“I understand that you are in contact with Michel Barnier… he will be happy to meet you again.”
Ms Sturgeon has had at least two sets of talks with Mr Barnier this year, most recently in August.
Ahead of a meeting between them in February, her team emailed to ask if it would be “possible for a photograph to be taken of Monsieur Barnier and the First Minister after their meeting for social media purposes”.
Frexit campaigners have stepped up their demands for France to leave the European Union after the bloc sparked outrage by signing a controversial trade deal with China.
Former MEP Florian Philippot hit out at Brussels’ agreement with Beijing as Britain announced an import ban on any goods suspected of being linked to forced labour in China’s Xinjiang region and warned fines could be imposed on UK firms that flout the new rules
Mr Philippot tweeted: “This is the difference between a sovereign country, the United Kingdom, and a country that obeys orders, France, which embarked via the EU in a disastrous investment agreement with China a few days ago
“A fast Frexit is vital!”
He spoke out as the number of people to have signed a petition demanding a Frexit vote passed the 11,000 mark with organisers claiming the support of many more.
The referendum-frexit.org campaign tweeted: “We remind you that more than half of the French want a referendum on the EU as it happened in the United Kingdom.
“Let’s make this wish come true by sharing the petition.”
A British super trawler responsible for around 10 percent of fish sold in UK chip shops has been left abandoned as a post-Brexit agreement is yet to be finalised for catches in Arctic waters.
The Kirkella freezer trawler is currently docked in Hull and has been unable to set sail since the Brexit-era began on January 1.
The UK signed a landmark trade deal with the EU on December 24 – covering fishing rights in UK and EU waters.
But, the Government is yet to finalise a concrete agreement on quotas with non-EU countries in distant Arctic waters – including Norway, the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
Karl Turner, Labour MP for Hull East, hit out at the Government and said the fleet has been left with “no ability to fish” and accused Number 10 of being “hell-bent on putting the last nail in the coffin of distant waters fishing”.
A Government spokesman said the UK has secured Fisheries Framework Agreements with Norway and the Faroe Islands, which provides the basis for detailed negotiations about quotas.
Emmanuel Macron is facing a rising tide of euroscepticism in France which could scupper his hopes of re-election in next year’s Presidential election, a former diplomat has said.
And resentment against Brussels is being stoked elsewhere in the EU27, including Italy, Hungary and Poland, Ray Bassett has said.
Ireland’s former ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, was speaking during a webinar hosted by Yale University this evening entitled Peacebuilding in the Wake of Brexit, during which he discussed the future of UK/Ireland relations.
Mr Bassett, an advocate of a so-called ‘Irexit’ – and Irish exit from the European Union, also considered Ireland’s place in the EU now that the UK has quit.
The Kirkella super trawler has not been deployed since Brexit (Image: UK Fisheries)
7.45pm: House of Lords block new Brexit proposal on healthcare
The House of Lords has blocked a new post-Brexit rule book on medicines and medical devices tabled by the Government.
7.10pm update: New trade rules sees 30 percent of goods being held back between GB and Ireland
Around 30 percent of goods moving from Great Britain to Dublin are being held back over issues around documentation, with some requiring further checks, officials have said.
Tom Talbot, head of the Revenue’s customs operations for Dublin Port, said trade volumes continue to be low in comparison with trade levels in previous years.
Mr Talbot said about 70 percent of freight movements in the last seven days have received immediate clearance from customs.
The EU is set to confirm an emergency package worth more than £500million for EU fishing communities impacted by Brexit – in the clearest sign yet the UK gained the upper hand in the historic trade deal.
The UK sealed a landmark Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU on December 24 and officially left the bloc on December 31, 2020.
Less than two weeks after Britain ended its membership with the bloc, EU chiefs are set to announce a fund worth £535million (€600million) for struggling EU fishing fleets and another £3billion (3.4billion) for other sectors, RTE news reports.
The financial package forms part of a so-called Brexit Adjustment Reserve agreed by EU leaders last year – worth £4.4billion (€5billion).
Former Westminster and Brussels adviser, Lee Rotherham said: “The first solid indicator of what the fisheries gains from the Brexit deal are for the UK.”
Brexit red tape has shattered the supply chains of French fishermen who have faced impediments to next-day delivery of salmon and lobster from Britain.
French seafood importers from the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer said deliveries were being held up because the Latin names of fish species were being entered incorrectly on papers. There were other reasons for the delays, one was that sanitary certificates were missing the required stamps.
Added to this was a further complication of French agents adopting a zero-tolerance attitude to mistakes in the customs process.
Arnaud Mille, the head of sourcing at French fish importer Demarne Freres, said: “We’ve never known such delays.
“It’s been apocalyptic.”
French fishermen have hit out at Brexit red tape (Image: GETTY)
Charles Michel has claimed Britain will continue to play by the EU’s rules despite leaving the bloc with a free-trade agreement.
The European Council President hinted the level-playing field provisions in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement means the UK remained tied to Brussels rules and standards.
Speaking at the 13th European Space Conference, Mr Michel insisted Britain will continue to “play by the rules of the game” to maintain tariff and quota-free access to the single market.
Under the terms of the deal, Downing Street is free to diverge from the bloc’s rulebook but could be hit with trade sanctions if the changes are deemed to create unfair competitive advantages for UK firms.
3.15pm update: EU warns it could still block Brexit trade deal as MEPs mock British MPs
Senior MEPs have vowed not to be hoodwinked into backing the Brexit trade deal like their British counterparts.
The European Parliament’s influential international trade committee said they would scrutinise each and every “loose end” in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement before giving it their sign off.
A special plenary is set to be held by MEPs around February 23 to finally vote on the future relationship pact after it was agreed on Christmas Eve.
They vowed to pour over the 1,200-page document and highlight any inconsistencies ahead of the ballot to rubber-stamp the pact.
Yesterday a video emerged of Dutch officials laughing at the driver after they took away his sandwich due to post-Brexit import regulations. The footage went viral and caused outrage among Express.co.uk readers.
One reader said: “The pure pettiness of EU officials is not surprising, oh how they laugh.
“Well, how stupid is it to be seen to openly mock and humiliate British people entering Europe when many of your countrymen rely on their experts to the UK?
“British consumers are already actively boycotting EU goods, so carry on for he who laughs last, laughs the longest.”
Another reader commented: “Notice the difference, EU take away lorry driver’s food.
“UK residents cooked and delivered FREE of charge to those stuck EU27 lorry drivers food and drink.
“Looked after them in their desperate time of need.
Brexit talks with the EU will start up again this week, with negotiations on financial services, No10 has confirmed.
The sector was largely ignored in the free trade agreement brokered between the two sides last year. Negotiations are starting up with the hope of a “memorandum of understanding” in place by the end of March.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The Treasury has been in contact with the EU on it and the discussions are starting this week at an official level.”
In 2020 the City of London exported more than £25billion of services to the continent, with the Government eager to maintain access to the bloc despite having left the EU.
Financial services are worth almost seven percent of Britain’s GDP and bringing over £130billion to Britain’s economy each year.
Boris Johnson secured a Brexit deal in December (Image: GETTY)
Over the weekend an EU source accused the UK of rejecting a “standard” proposal which would have exempted the artists from needing to get a work permit. Performers have expressed outrage they have will have to apply for visas and have said it could lead to the cancellation of international tours.
An EU source close to the negotiations told the Independent: “It is usually in our agreements with third countries, that work visas are not required for musicians.
“We tried to include it, but the UK said no.”
They added the Prime Minister refused the deal because he “said they were ending free moment”.
Brexit: Expert says hauliers ‘blame EU’ for border delays
Baroness Fox has now revealed she, the sole former Brexit Party politician in the upper house, was “culled” from the House elf Lords speakers’ list on December 30th.
The former MEP said: “Even the paltry three minutes I had been allocated as speaking time at the historic debate was snatched from meekest at the last moment.
“I, along with about another 30 peers, was culled from the speakers’ list.
“The whips’ office was not interested in my pleading or the fact that I was the only former Brexit Party representative in the chamber.
“It was treated as a merely administrative, pragmatic solution to an issue of too many speakers applying for slots.”
7.53am update: Theresa May warns UK must reject post-Brexit ‘push towards nationalism and isolationism’
Theresa May has warned Britain must reject “any push towards nationalism and isolationism” if it wants to prosper post-Brexit and deal with the effects of Covid-19.
The Conservative former prime minister also reiterated her criticism of Boris Johnson for cutting the UK’s aid and threatening to breach international law over Brexit, warning this risked undermining the Government’s “Global Britain” agenda.
Her comments came after International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said poorer countries will be offered “more generous” terms to trade with the UK post-Brexit under a new “emerging markets” scheme.
Speaking during a debate on “Global Britain”, Mrs May said: “We need to move away from the world of strong men facing up to each other.
“We need to find more ways in which we can work with those who share our values because those values are under threat and we need to work together to protect them.
“Global Britain has that position this year that enables us to do this. But in order to do this, we need to live our values ourselves.
“And I have to say to the Government that threatening to break an international treaty shortly after signing it, that threatening to break international law and that cutting our international aid does not enhance our impact of Global Britain, in fact it makes it harder for us as Global Britain to get our message around the world.
“We have been respected because of our 0.7%. Respected because of what we do, not just because we’re British.”
(Additional reporting by Rachel Russell & Luke Hawker)