Not so much Brexit as the EU

Dutch TV news has aired footage of customs officers confiscating ham sandwiches from drivers arriving by ferry from the UK under post-Brexit rules banning personal imports of meat and dairy products into the EU.

Officials wearing high-visibility jackets are shown explaining to startled car and lorry drivers at the Hook of Holland ferry terminal that since Brexit, “you are no longer allowed to bring certain foods to Europe, like meat, fruit, vegetables, fish, that kind of stuff.”

To a bemused driver with several sandwiches wrapped in tin foil who asked if he could maybe surrender the meat and keep just the bread, one customs officer replied: “No, everything will be confiscated. Welcome to Brexit, sir, I’m sorry.”

Sure, we can say that Brexit has meant that we’re now subject to these rules. But the rules predate Brexit. This is actually how we – and the EU – have been treating 6.5 billion people these past 40 years and more.

That is, the more we’re subject to pettifogging stupidity the more we should realise what the project actually is – pettifogging bureaucracy.

12 thoughts on “Not so much Brexit as the EU”

  1. I think that I mentioned before that during a foot and mouth scare, German police were stopping coach parties of Dutch pensioners and confiscating their sandwiches.

    Try getting something organic into New Zealand ! Rubber gloves if they find anything they consider remotely dodgy.

  2. Very probably, Ottokring. My car was searched for ham sandwiches by French border staff At that time.

  3. I usually get away with it, but I have had sausage and cheese confiscated crossing from Switzerland into France (or vice versa, can’t remember) on skiing trips. I remember a particularly smelly vacherin, which was admittedly probably pushing it, detection-wise; the bastards obviously had it themselves.

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    Slightly OT- European Union forms own 10,000 strong ‘uniformed service’

    So now they can run away in 27 different languages? The French and Germans tried this with a mixed brigade. Turned out they could not even agree on what to serve at lunch. Had to separate them.

    Also slightly off topic – I have always assumed stomach acid is pretty strong. So much so that if one of those drivers ate his ham sandwich, nothing would survive. But polio does – enough to be tested for. So does Cholera as the people of Haiti, so grateful for being helped by the UN, can tell you. Covid can be detected in faeces too.

    So does whatever the fuck they are protecting themselves against have a chance of passing though one of those drivers bowels?

  5. @ Andy ex taiwan. Just surprised that they hadn’t considered a brown uniform. Looks like they settled for the colour of the successor organisation.

  6. “you are no longer allowed to bring certain foods to Europe, like meat, fruit, vegetables, fish, that kind of stuff.”

    Wait. That would mean that we wouldn’t have been able to fly in from the US armed with a sandwich prior to Brexit and this isn’t about citizenship either – it’s about product import rules.

    There’s some epic selective enforcement going on here….

  7. If you want pettifogging bureaucracy, the woman in France who’s spent 3 years trying to prove she’s not dead is a magnificent(?) example of francophone idiocy. A judge deemed her dead without checking, so now the fact that she’s breathing, walking, talking and wants her papers back doesn’t count. I wonder what would happen if she shot the judge?

  8. Arthur

    That would be a rare case of murder while dead. Hard to see how they could claim she was in her right mind.

    Apparently, while rare, this isn’t a one time event in France. The problem is a whole chain of stupidity crossing multiple bureaucracies is involved. Probably the only effective cure is a Presidential decree.

    Meanwhile, we know she must have voted Democrat in the recent elections 🙂

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