EU’s own supermarkets’ shelves bare as Brexit deal leaves European businesses struggling

Brexit: EU supermarket ‘overwhelmed’ with paperwork

A supermarket in Brussels specialising in British treats has found its shelves running bare amid customs delays at the Dover-Calais border. According to the BBC, other supermarkets across France and Belgium have been experiencing similar supply problems. BBC European correspondent Gavin Lee told BBC Breakfast viewers on Tuesday morning that many supermarkets in the European Union are “really struggling” with the vast paperwork demands of the “Brexit bureaucracy.”

Reporting from Stonemanor, a British store in Brussels, Mr Lee explained the supermarket had not had a delivery “in weeks.”

He told BBC’s Dan Walker and Louise Minchin: “They have been overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork needed to bring the products through customs in France.

Store Assistant Tracey Smith took the reporter for a tour of the stores empty shelves.

“We are even done to the last scone,” she told Mr Lee.

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He continued: “There are two lorry loads of goods worth tens of thousands of pounds waiting in the UK.

“Since Britain left the EU all this produce now needs separate customs codes to show they are clear for travel.

“Covering everything from cakes to crisps and meat to marmalade.

“It means hundreds of forms.”

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He added: “This is a crisis moment for this company.”

Mr Lee insisted the problem was not limited to Stonemanor but said that Marks and Spencers outlets in France were also struggling to bring in fresh food supplies.

It comes as British hauliers slammed the European Union’s new trade rules as “too complicated” and “too onerous” amid a row over the effect of new regulations on the UK’s exports post-Brexit.

Rod McKenzie, managing director of policy and public affairs at the Road Haulage Association, addressed the industry’s concerns with the new trade rules on Sky News on Monday.


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These new trade rules have been blamed for delays and holdups at the border as businesses struggle with new paperwork and additional “red tape.”

Mr McKenzie said: “We need Britain to prosper and we need the economy to prosper.

“Some people are choosing not to trade with the EU because it is too complicated. 

“It is too erroneous, there is a mountain of red tape to do.”


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