Welcome to the bizarre world of post-Brexit Britain. We are now well and truly through the looking glass. Insanity is now what passes for normal. Suddenly, at a time when we need everything to be simple, everything has become more complicated than ever.
The Conservative government (led by the Vote Leave champion Boris Johnson) are now advising businesses to avoid disruption by setting up their firms in the EU. Yes, you read that correctly. The pro-Brexit government, who told us Britain could go it alone and thrive and prosper outside the EU, is telling UK businesses they’d be better off in the EU, and is advising them to relocate.
This is a whole new level of stupid, but we can expect even higher levels in the coming months as the self-shafted Vote Leave government grasp at ever more ridiculous straws to limit the damage of their absurd project.
A whole new level of stupid.
The Cheshire Cheese Company was advised by government to set up in the EU after it was forced to stop its exports to the EU on January 1st because of unworkable rules.
Because of unworkable new processes and rules, UK fashion company Vildnis had to stop exporting to the EU altogether, chopping off the fastest growing arm of their business.
Experts say EU companies delivering to the UK will soon face similar issues.
The upshot of all of this? Trade between the EU and UK is going to grind to a halt, in all manner of markets. And UK small/medium businesses who trade in the EU, face catastrophic complications that may lead to serious losses or even closures.
There are castrophic complications for any small or medium sized UK business who trades within the EU.
Meanwhile, any UK company whose EU customer wants to return some goods, faced with the expense and complexity of bringing those goods home, are considering burning them instead, to save money.
As I said, we are through the looking glass now. The strange upside-down dimension of Brexitland, where the usual rules and logic do not apply. Everything is strange now. Soon, the following new rules will come into force, to enable post-Brexit systems to be aligned:
- You will have to prove you are not an alsatian before buying a sandwich, unless it contains tuna.
- All aquarium fish will have to aquire pet passports or risk deportation through a portal under the Speaker’s chair in the House of Commons.
- Farmers will not be allowed to drive tractors unless they upload their tractor into a special app which puts their manure on an Excel spreadsheet.
- All Amazon parcels must be shipped from the actual Amazon, to avoid border checks in Kent.
- Whenever you flush the toilet you must fill in a form that describes your current mood to ensure it is in line with the UK’s expectations. (Pre- and post- flush).
- Oven gloves must be worn at all times, regardless of intention to cook anything; this measure will remain in place until the UK authorities have established what we can safely touch, in case it came from the EU.
- Anyone using the phrase ‘ramped up’ will have to do so while standing on a ramp painted with Union Flag colours.
- Ham sandwiches cannot cross any borders, anywhere, however live pigs wrapped in slices of bread are acceptable if they carry blue passports.
We were all quietly told before Christmas that UK/EU trade faced “significant disruption”, but it’s fair to say nobody thought this meant you had to relocate your entire business to the EU to avoid paperwork, upon government advice.
Many EU firms simply refused to trade with the UK in the wierd new setup, because it was not cost effecitve or practical for them to do so. Why would they, when they can continue freely and openly trading with 26 other countries without any problems? The plucky Brexit Brits didn’t believe hard enough, perhaps, to convince other people to put themselves out of pocket.
In Hastings, fishing boats sit moored and inoperative after the profits from catches plumment to levels that make it simply not worth fishing. Entire fishing families face ruin, but they’ll be taking great comfort from the words of Dominic Raab the Foreign Secretary: “This is a great deal for the fishing industry” (BBC Andrew Marr, Jan 2021)
Michael Gove warned of “bumpy moments” back in December 2020, (seems like an age ago now!), but perhaps “devastating decades” might’ve been a more apt description, sitting more in line with Jacob Rees Mogg’s estimation that no Brexit benefits would emerge for half a century.
Are these the Sunlit Upands? Is this the brave new world of Global Britain? Or are these “bumpy moments” and “minor disruption”? One thing’s for sure: None of it will be the government’s fault. They’ll blame us, the people, for all of it. Some how, some way, it will be our fault. Especially those who didn’t want Brexit in the first place.
Every day, a new story emerges about the absurdity of trading, buying or selling in Brexit Britain. It’s not even Week 5 yet. Imagine the treasure trove of madness that will come to light throughout the next 10 years.
It’s only a question of time before this all becomes intolerable and the country is crying out to rejoin the EU.