Brexit: Customs officials may ‘enforce law to letter’ says Iain Dale
British tourists planning to visit the continent in the coming months may face severe disruption because of new customs rules in place since the end of the Brexit transition deal. Travellers have already begun to experience issues after trying to bring along homemade sandwiches past the Dutch border but being told new rules forbid visitors from bringing in products of an animal origin. Political commentator Iain Dale argued that common sense should have prevailed but warned further issues to develop at the border with France due to patrols enforcing the new rules “to the letter.”
He insisted more trivial incidents, like the sandwich row, are likely to occur for the next few months.
Mr Dale said: “The thing is we all know that customs officials, in fact officials all over the place, if they want to enforce the law to the letter of the law they are perfectly entitled to do that.
“But common sense would suggest that sandwiches are not going to endanger the entire population of the Netherlands.
“I think we are going to see a lot of this in France as well.
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“We all know the officials in Calais, if they want to enforce the law to the letter, they will do so.
“This is going to go on for some time, I imagine for several months.
“But it will calm down and people will get used to the new regulations and trade will flow normally.
“But it may be a bit hairy for the next two or three months.”
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Commentator Angela Epstein argued the Dutch border patrol were attempting “point scoring” when she spoke on the show the previous day.
She noted the “whiff of celebration” from the officer at being able to stop a British citizen over a small infraction.
She said: “It did have a little bit of whiff of point-scoring there.
“I think he was absolutely right, it is a snapshot of what life is going to be like after Brexit.
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“These are the little details that will come together, the little pieces of the mosaic that will form the picture of our post-EU life.
“Did you not just get a bit of a whiff of a celebratory jab, ‘welcome to Brexit, this is what it is going to be like.’
“I was hoping we would feel warmly disposed to one another.
“So I do hope that will continue and we will feel good about being pals even though we are no longer part of the EU”
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