‘Welcome to Brexit’: Dutch officers confiscate sandwiches from British drivers
Netherlands customs officers have been seen in the footage while confiscating ham sandwiches from British drivers under post-Brexit rules which bans personal imports of meat and dairy products into the European Union (EU) states.
The footage aired by Dutch TV news showed customs officials stopping the cars and lorry drivers at the Hook of Holland ferry terminal and explaining to them that they are no longer allowed to bring certain foods to Europe, like meat, fruit, vegetables, fish, that kind of stuff since Brexit.
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,” Guardian reported.
Next time people tell you there’s no new friction at the borders because of Brexit, you can show them this Dutch TV clip of drivers being stopped and having their lunches confiscated. pic.twitter.com/B9eZfDWKFB
— OwenAdamsYT (@OwenAdamsYT1) January 10, 2021
The Brexit transition period came to an end which made the ban effective from New Year’s Day.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) asked travellers to ‘use, consume, or dispose of’ prohibited items at or before the border.
According to the Defra guidance for commercial drivers states, “From 1 January 2021 you will not be able to bring POAO (products of an animal origin) such as those containing meat or dairy (eg a ham and cheese sandwich) into the EU.”
The European commission says the ban is necessary because meat and dairy products can contain pathogens causing animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth or swine fever and “continue to present a real threat to animal health throughout the union”.
Dutch customs also posted a photograph of foodstuffs ranging from breakfast cereals to oranges that officials had confiscated in the ferry terminal, adding: “Since 1 January, you can’t just bring more food from the UK.”
The customs service added: “So prepare yourself if you travel to the Netherlands from the UK and spread the word. This is how we prevent food waste and together ensure that the controls are speeded up.”