Thursday, 29 Jul 2021

‘Stop all EU goods coming to UK!’ Britons vow boycott after M&S shipments destroyed

M&S chairman reveals issues trucks have faced

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M&S Supermarket Chairman Archie Norman explained how outrageous post-Brexit border checks on his company’s food imports to the Republic of Ireland have seen damaging delays of up to 48 hours, meaning products have to be destroyed. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “Since January we have been exporting into the Republic of Ireland. At the moment, only about 80 percent of our product is getting into Ireland, so 20 percent doesn’t arrive at all, and that applies to other retailers as well.

“It is not the rules of the customs union that is the problem, it is the Byzantine and pointless and honestly pettifogging enforcement which means that wagons can’t get through.”

But in an extraordinary claim, Mr Norman raged: “If one page is blue instead of black typeface the entire wagon is turned away!”

He added: “Each wagon typically has about eight documents, 720 pages per truck, that’s three large three books! It’s about 40,000 pages per week!

“And to do that we are employing 13 full-time vets, they are not looking after animals or welfare, they are simply ticking boxes and filling out forms.”

Now furious Britons have vowed to put an end to the EU’s exports into the UK and have demanded a boycott of products.

Reacting to the initial Express.co.uk story, one reader fumed: “Stop all EU goods coming to the UK and stop holidaying there.

“The Remainiacs constantly told us the EU isn’t a petty-minded, bureaucratic nightmare but here is the evidence.”

A second person raged: “The EU has never negotiated in good faith, and now they are not acting in good faith.

“Time to end the Withdrawal Agreement, and stop their exports and their fishing.”

Several other readers went as far as to demand the UK rip up the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.

One said: “The EU is going to be obstructive. It’s time to cancel the agreement.

“The spirit of the agreement has been ignored by the EU. The UK trusted them.

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“Well, the UK has learned a lesson as has the rest of the world. Never trust the EU.”

Mr Norman also revealed how food products such as sandwiches now need three vets certificates and if the “typeface on one page is the wrong colour it is rejected.”

He explained: “Our error rate in this huge amount of documentation has been running at less than 0.00 percent but 40 percent of our wagons have been delayed!

“A delay means could be six hours but often 24-48 hours which means that most of the content of that wagon will have to be destroyed.”

The extraordinary revelations come after the EU flat-out rejected a plan from UK Brexit minister Lord Frost to renegotiate the Northern Ireland Protocol.

German MEP David McAllister said: “Instead of putting the Protocol into question, it is about finding solutions for the outstanding issues.

“The implementation of the protocol relies on joint action. It should not be undermined by unilateral measures.

“Permanent flexibilities are not acceptable. The Protocol was painstakingly negotiated under high political pressure, ensuring to minimise disruption and to help local communities and businesses.

“It cannot be renegotiated – it is part of the solution of a problem that is Brexit.”

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