Brexit: Why even the price of an English breakfast is at risk in UK-EU trade talks | World News

Fresh vegetables are processed ready to be shipped to the UK

In a spacious warehouse in the Netherlands, workers are busy hanging, packing and loading fruits and vegetables into lorries ready to be shipped to the UK.

ABC Logistics in Poldig, near The Hague, exports new products ranging from locally grown salad leaves to avocados, sweet potatoes and melons.

Driver Jeffrey Popma loads the product boards into the vehicle for his regular ride across the channel. He has been part of a strategic operation for years, but fears things will change in January.

He predicts trouble.

Family-run SherpenHuisen company processes blueberries for shipment to the UK

From the cab of his vehicle he tells me: “The long wait, the queues at the ports.

“Those are the main concerns of drivers. The real concern is the time it takes to cross.”

They are planning Brexit It’s been months here trying to anticipate what’s to come.

Manager Marcel van Bragan says they work in the dark.

The only determination he makes is that there is no deal or transaction, which means that the cost of production will go up and the UK consumer will have to bear it.

“Ultimately the UK citizen will pay the price,” he says.

“For example, I always want to give an example of an English breakfast. You have six to eight products on the plate – tomatoes, bacon, sausage, and even beans that often come from Europe.

“So they have to import it from other countries. It’s going to be more expensive. People do not know what happens when there is a rush of a lot of products and they are not going to go to the UK.”

Jeffrey Popma, driver from ABC Logistics in Poldig, near The Hague
Jeffrey Popma, driver from ABC Logistics in Poldig, near The Hague

We drive more than an hour depending on what NetherlandsFresh fruits and vegetables are exported to the UK.

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At the family-run Sherpenhuisen Company, we are shown a production line packing blueberries for a trip to the UK.

In the large loading area, forklift trucks are surrounded by boards full of vegetables, all divided into UK homes and restaurants.

The company distributes to leading supermarkets in the UK.

Dutch manufacturers say there will be delays in ports after Brexit
Dutch manufacturers say there will be delays in ports after Brexit

Chief Operations Officer Dick de Brouwer tells me that delays at ports are inevitable regardless of the Brexit situation.

He fears cross-channel trips will require two drivers, limiting how long they can stay behind the wheel.

He says even in a trade transaction between the UK and the European Union, additional paperwork and checks are needed.

But no transaction will affect the debtor the most.

He says: “If there are tariffs, prices will go up. That’s one thing, it will increase consumer and consumer costs.

“There is documentation to be done on top of that.”

Chief Operations Officer Dick de Brouwer
Chief Operations Officer Dick de Brouwer

Brexit will have consequences, trade deal or not.

The warning from the Netherlands is that many in the UK will experience this in their shopping basket for the first time.

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