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So the UK is finished says Theresa Mayhem


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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, Brexit bites again. I’ve a classic car down in Spain. Parts not readily available. So I ordered from the marque specialist in the UK. Direct delivery to my mechanic in Spain.

Same here. Car now off the road and waiting for my fine for having no current ITV.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 weeks later...

It’s a total mess.

Last year we replaced our kitchen table and cooking crockery. The old stuff matched what I’ve got at our holiday home in Spain. Everything was wrapped and boxed and loaded to take to Spain just before Xmas.

As you know we got turned back in the boarding queue at Portsmouth after Spain stopped Brits from entering due to Alpha (Kent) variant.

About two months ago I’d done some work for a local haulier and courier. They had an agent in Spain. Together we sorted out all the forms necessary post Brexit. Full inventory, valuation, explanation it was for a second home and was personal goods.

The agent refused to accept the consignment as they’d experienced so much trouble getting stuff in to spain.

We tracked down someone else and, eventually, off it went.

Arrived. Seized by Spanish customs who alleged it required a sanitary certificate to confirm it was free of food waste. Or I could register as a catering business and apply for a health certificate to allow me to import commercially.

Roll on 3 weeks of negotiation, and eventually they relented. Agreed personal importation of used property to a second home did not require either.

I had to pay import duty and VAT and handling fees totalling €350? I’d expected about €200, but 23 days storage in bond at €2 a day plus the custom agent commission hiked it up.

Never again.

I know it’s first world and privilege problems. But we’ve had 20 years of moving stuff too and fro. 

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It might be first world probs John but what really grates is that it is all so unnecessary and ultimately of no tangible benefit for anyone.

Nobody in either tribe seems happy except maybe customs agents and flag makers....

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On 6/25/2021 at 4:38 PM, ballaughbiker said:

It might be first world probs John but what really grates is that it is all so unnecessary and ultimately of no tangible benefit for anyone.

Nobody in either tribe seems happy except maybe customs agents and flag makers....

Brexiteers should be happy.


It is what they voted for.


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  • 1 month later...

Michel Barnier is bringing out a new book:

La Grande Illusion - Journal secret du Brexit.

No prize if you manage the translation from French to English...

An excerpt from a precis:

Michel Barnier’s La Grande Illusion is his diary of the Brexit discussions. It starts July 2016, when Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU Commission president, asked Barnier to take charge of the upcoming negotiations with the UK, and ends when he stood down earlier this year, having delivered both the Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. It is a long book, 532 pages and is in French. An English edition will be published in September.

It is a fascinating read about the Brexit process from someone, on the European side, who was at the heart of all that happened. I doubt very much if there is anyone on the UK side who could write a similar book. There was an everchanging cast of UK actors involved in the discussions, from David Davis and Ollie Robbins, through Dominic Raab, Steve Barclay and on to David Frost. Not to forget May and Johnson. And backroom operators like Dominic Cummings. 

Shakespeare’s words come to mind:

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more...

While La Grand Illusion will be of interest to anyone who wants to understand the past five years, it is, for me, above all a masterclass in how to prepare for, organise and conduct a negotiation.

 No Plan On June 23, 2016, the UK voted, narrowly, to leave the European Union. It was, of course, entitled to do so. There was only one problem. No one on the Leave side knew what quitting the EU actually meant. There was no plan, no road map. If there was, it was very well hidden at the time and remains hidden to this day.

Brexiteers believed that quitting the EU would be easy, could be done in an afternoon “over a cup of tea”, according to one of them. The EU would be so shaken by the UK’s decision to leave that it would be only too willing to cut it any deal it wanted. The UK would be able to extract from the EU all the benefits of the Customs Union and the Single Market, with none of the costs and obligations attached to actual membership. Some Brexiteers actually believed that the EU would soon fall apart, leaving the UK to pick up the pieces and put a new, European free-trade architecture in place.

None of this happened, and the UK left the EU on terms dictated by the EU. It also ended up with a minimalist free trade agreement, the downsides of which are everyday becoming clearer and clearer.


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