‘Brussels is threatening NI food supply’
Sir, – Parts of Newton Emerson’s article citing the EU customs compliance costs of half the cost of a typical container’s contents read as if they were inspired by a supermarket PR department (“Brussels is threatening the North’s food supply”, Opinion & Analysis, September 17th). It is not the job of the EU to copper-fasten the virtual monopoly of the North’s grocery trade by three supermarket chains. The customs controls he complains of apply to all goods from all countries outside the EU which do not have a special trading and regulatory relationship with the EU.
And isn’t that precisely what Boris Johnson has been asking for? To be treated just like Australia, which doesn’t have a trade deal with the EU?
In any case, what’s so bad about trying to prevent chlorinated chickens, steroid- or antibiotic-treated beef, or live animals with foot-and-mouth disease getting on to the island, and from here potentially onto the continent?
Of course, Boris Johnson may not have done his homework to find out exactly what controls Australia faces in trying to export into the single market, but whose fault is that?
This is what Brexit is – Britain is voluntarily deciding to forgo the benefits of a common market and regulatory area many other countries would die for. It never made any sense, but Newton Emerson only seems to be discovering this now. Many supposedly objective political commentators stood idly by while the DUP went all gung-ho for Brexit against the wishes of a large majority in Northern Ireland. It was all good political fun and games at the time, one in the eye for the nationalists. This is when the reality strikes home. – Yours, etc,