These people are insane

The boss of M&S was using Percy Pigs as an example of a situation in which it was not yet clear whether a tariff needed to be paid.

The sweets are manufactured and packaged in Germany and then shipped to the UK – no tariffs are payable because of the trade deal.

They are then taken from the M&S warehouses and exported to stores in the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the EU.

Now, this is the complicated bit. Because they have left the EU and not been processed enough to count as being made in the UK, it may be that a tariff needs to be paid to get them back into the EU, despite them having been made in the EU in the first place.

If they had been unpacked and put on a cupcake, for example, there would be no tariff because they would have been transformed, but just storing them in the UK is not enough.

Lions with flamethrowers for the lot of them.

22 thoughts on “These people are insane”

  1. It’s the EU wot’s punishing the people of Northern Ireland, it’s their option to rise up and overthrow them.

  2. Annndd.. What stops them to ship to Ireland directly? Maybe, just maybe have/lease a distribution center there? Like, ummm… quite a lot of other companies dealing with this kind of thing?

    Those poor beancounters getting headaches and missing bonuses!!

  3. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    Sounds like a missing line in a law somewhere.

    May well have been deliberately left out, to make work for lots of bureaucrats to take 4 years over changing it, leverage in the interim, additional income for lawyers and judges, tax authorities get to extort business, etc etc. But still, it’s ultimately just a missing line in a law.

  4. @Bloke in China (Germany province)

    Don’t think so. The thing is set up to stop people from pretending the UK is still part of the Eurozone and simply transiting goods through the UK.
    Which is exactly what M&S are trying to do here, and complain about….

  5. So the Paddies are going to have to pay more for Percy Pig? Connolly should have thought about that at the Post Office in ’16. Count my tears.

  6. I’m puzzled about how remainers claim that the EU facilitates free trade. They have free trade between their own little clique but put up trade barriers against everyone else. The choice between trading freely with them or the rest of the planet would seem to be a no brainer. Maybe it wasn’t in 1973 but the world has changed a bit since then.

  7. I saw this item on the Beeb website, and it struck me as an arcane thing the Beeb had found to show how disastrous Brexit is, having told us for years how disastrous it was going to be. And as Grikath says, M&S should just get the German suppliers to ship direct to a small warehouse in Ireland that M&S have set up to supply their Irish shops. Perhaps that’s what they are in the process of doing anyway.

    It’s odd though that Origin=EU, Dest=EU but via UK should break the sainted Rules of Origin guff.

  8. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    Grikath, Tractor,

    I guess it is to stop third country imports being simply re-labelled as “made in the UK” to evade EU rules/tarrifs.

    There must be tons of such similar laws worldwide. There was a big kerfuffle some while back about whether you could label meat as “British” or whatever when it had just gone straight from trailer to slaughterhouse without ever setting hoof on British soil.

  9. @Tractor Gent.

    That’s because M&S stores and redistributes the stuff from their UK distro centre. Which means handling/repackaging of sealed goods, which in turn invalidates that Rules of Origin guff.
    If they’d simply ran the lorry straight through the UK to Ireland without touching it, it wouldn’t be a problem.. Lorry stays sealed, guff etc. avoided.

  10. It’s all to maintain the purity of the EU. An interesting concept given the things that happen in the Southern and Western affiliates

  11. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    I am sure that in the wonderfully enlightened Kingdom there are absolutely zero similar issues with loading a lorry in Cardiff, unloading it in Dublin, and sending it on in a different lorry to Belfast. The UK is such an amazing bureaucracy-free free-trading paradise that there could be no challenges at all, ever, in such an endeavour.

  12. @ Bloke in China (Germany province)
    There are no customs barriers on the border between Northern Ireland and Eire, so the only challenge could be in Dublin (oh, wait – that’s in your wonderful EU).

  13. From my understanding, we (the UK) have granted “bonded lorries” right of transit across our territory, it’s the idiots at the other end kicking up a fuss that bonded goods have crossed an out-of-union territory, combined with the “binded lorries” being broken open, their contents redistributed, and re-lorry’d.
    If M&S just sorted out their shit it would be bonded goods transport all the way from Dusselldorf to Dublin.

    I used to live in Hong Kong. We *lived* by this. Goods arrived at Stonecutters, unloaded, reloaded at Kai Tak, Mong Kok and Tuen Mun, legally everything bonded “goods in transit” and they legally never entered the city.

  14. Beats me why the story’s given any prominence. Who’s affected? The German manufacturer that may not sell so many Percy Pigs. Or the Irish who’ll either have to pay more or go pigless. M&S may get to make slightly less money. Might at worst be one British job lost over it. It has no effect on the British public whatsoever. It’s a European problem.

  15. ‘It has no effect on the British public whatsoever’

    You’re right BIS. To such has Project Fear descended.

  16. @ Tractor Gent – “it struck me as an arcane thing the Beeb had found to show how disastrous Brexit is, having told us for years how disastrous it was going to be.”

    Indeed. If Boris were spotted walking across the surface of a lake, the BBC would report it as “Doubt exists over whether Boris Johnson can swim”

  17. Might at worst be one British job lost over it. It has no effect on the British public whatsoever.

    Smoke and mirrors serving an agenda.

    “Look over here at how bad Brexit is, causing all these problems! Definitely don’t look over here at all the economic harm caused by lockdowning. Brexit bad! Boo! Because science.”
    -Quote from someone at the BBC, possibly

  18. As an ardent BRExiteer, my view is that if this is the level of disruption that leaving the EU has caused then we’ve absolutely bugger all to be worried about. I’m not happy about the ongoing problems with the fish, but it’ll get sorted to some degree within the next few months and we’ll be onto business as usual DESPITE BRExit.

    As for the haters at the BBC, fuck ’em. Defund the license fee and that problem solves itself.

  19. except part of the value of stock is location. Moving them from Germany to Ireland is therefore a transformation!

  20. BiC(Gp): I get that the EU doesn’t want crap (or even not-crap) foreign stuff relabelled, but I doubt that M&S are opening all the bags and replacing the contents with 猪阴茎. All they should need is a ‘Origin’ declaration with proof to keep EU customs happy. Not too much to ask of a German confectionery manufacturer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *