'Even the price of the English breakfast could be at stake in Brexit trade talks'

ABC Logistics in Poeldijk, near The Hague, exports all kinds of fresh produce, from locally-grown salad leaves to avocados, sweet potatoes, and melons brought in from across the world.

As driver Jeffrey Popma loads pallets of produce on to his vehicle for one of his regular forays across the Channel, he told news.sky.com how he predicts chaos. "The long waiting times, the queues that would be at the ports. They are the main worries for the drivers. The time that the crossing will take is the real concern."

They've been planning for Brexit here for months, trying to anticipate what's coming. There's only one certainty he says -deal or no deal- and that is that the cost of produce will rise and will have to be picked up by the UK consumer.

"Ultimately the UK citizen will pay the price," he says. "For example, I always like to give the example of the English breakfast. You have about six to eight products on the plate - the tomato, the bacon, the sausage, and even the beans often come from Europe. So they have to import it from other countries. It will be more expensive. The people are not aware of what will happen when there is a lot of congestion of products and they are not going to get to the UK."

Chief operations officer Dick de Brouwer tells me delays at the ports are inevitable, whatever Brexit scenario emerges. He worries two drivers may be needed for cross-Channel journeys, given limits on how long they can stay behind the wheel. Even with a trade deal between the UK and the EU, he says extra paperwork and checks will be required. But a no-deal would hit the shopper hardest.

De Brouwer: "If there are going to be tariffs then the prices will increase. That's for one thing. And that's going to increase the cost for the consumer and the customer. On top of that is the documentation that needs to be done."

In the end, Brexit will have consequences, trade deal or not. The warning from the Netherlands is that many in the UK will certainly feel in their shopping baskets.


Photo source: Kevin Brown | Dreamstime.com 


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