LONDON-The customs officer quickly found the contraband hidden in the car he had just stopped. Not guns, drugs, or people smuggling at the border, but ham sandwiches wrapped in tin foil.
“Sir, welcome to Brexit, sorry!” The thriving Dutch border official said with a smile when he confiscated illegal snacks.
The footage broadcast by the Dutch television network NPO 1 seemed funny. However, the official only acted in accordance with the new rules, which took effect after the UK stopped using EU regulations on January 1 after Brexit.
Before Brexit, the United Kingdom was part of the European Union’s “single market” that allowed people, goods, services and money to travel freely across the European continent with little or no checks.
The two parties reached a new trade agreement in December to replace the old partnership, which took effect early this year. Since then, businesses and travelers have begun to realize the reality that the new system can cause serious damage.
The driver in the video has traveled from the UK to the Netherlands, and the Netherlands is still one of the 27 member states of the European Union.
The driver was surprised that his lunch was impounded-“Can I just leave the meat to throw bread?” he asked incredulously-but the new rules are clear. The British government’s guidelines warn people that they cannot carry “animal-derived products, such as products containing meat or milk”, such as “ham and cheese sandwiches.”
That’s because the EU fears that anything imported from the recently-departed Britain (which now follows different regulations) may “pose a real threat to animal health.”
This is not an isolated incident. The Dutch customs posted a photo on Facebook showing a pile of food, including a box of orange juice, cereals and a box of oranges, which were confiscated from the driver who arrived at the ferry port in Hook, the Netherlands.
But while grabbing a traveler’s lunch can be annoying, businesses are feeling the real impact of Brexit.
In the long run, the Office of Budget Responsibility, the government regulator, stated that the agreement negotiated by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson would reduce the British economy by 4% compared to staying in the EU.
The company is already saying that the chaos caused by the new border inspections has caused the stranded goods and goods not to reach their destinations. Scottish salmon producer John Ross Jr wrote in an open letter: “It seems that our own government has thrown us into the cold Atlantic waters without life jackets.”
Brexit has also caused chaos within the UK. The extra paperwork meant delays in Northern Ireland and vacant supermarket shelves. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, but under the new Brexit agreement, its trading methods will be different.
Some UK online retailers stated that even if they are all in the same country, they can no longer ship to Northern Ireland.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove told Sky News last week that it is expected that in the next few weeks, “major damage will happen again” and the government needs to “double its efforts to deliver the exact documents needed.”