Squealing About Brexit

March 25, 2021

How "sovereignty" is making things worse.

Brexit was sold to the British public as a way to strengthen the integrity and cement the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. Britons were told how they would flourish once they were no longer subjected to the whims of Continental bureaucrats.

Tell that to the British pork farmers who can no longer sell product to sausage-maker Helen Browning’s Organic.

The company is named after its Wiltshire farmer founder, but it processes its products – 75 tons a year – in Germany. Its business model was to buy British pork, ship it to Germany for processing, and bring back the sausage for sale at home.

But after Brexit, shipping meat out of England became a bureaucratic nightmare, with backups that resulted in product going bad. After what The Guardian described as “two disastrous attempts since January to send British pork to Germany,” Helen Browning’s Organic gave up and announced that it will henceforth source its pork from Denmark.

It’s part of a depressing picture. Overall food exports have dropped at least 45% since January, when Brexit went into full effect, according to The Guardian. A last-minute trade deal avoided tariffs, but Britain’s food export trade is getting strangled by border bureaucracy, especially for short-life commodities like meat and seafood.

If there is one single person in all of the UK – farmer, processor, retailer or consumer – who has benefited from Brexit’s effects on the British food industry, I’d like to know his or her name.

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