FCDO updates advice about personal food imports to Spain

You might be aware of a controversy in the media over the past 24 hours or so about a ham and cheese sandwich confiscated by Dutch border control from a lorry driver leaving the UK. Petty, nitpicking, vengeful … some of the descriptions used about the incident, which many were incensed by, their ire increased by the Dutch officer’s comment “welcome to Brexit, Sir”, which was evidently taken as goading.

This is, however, existing and well-known EU policy. The EU is a political union between countries forming a bloc that the UK used to belong to. Now it doesn’t. The EU considers that foodstuffs from outside the bloc are potentially dangerous. I know a ham and cheese sandwich sounds ridiculous in this context, but that’s because in our culture ham, cheese and bread are normal foods. What do we think about dog meat? or bat? And yet in the far east these are normal too. And the EU doesn’t want them, and so any foods that don’t come from within the bloc with their concomitant agreed criteria are not allowed to enter.

The only difference between this ham and cheese sandwich and a pangolin pizza or a badger bap is that it was coming from the UK, and as Brits we are used to the idea. That is the only difference. And the only reason that the EU could be expected to differentiate between it and other foods is because “the UK is special”. Well I’m afraid it isn’t. It is now a full third country, and private import of foods are banned. This is true throughout Europe, and currently there is heat in the caravan sector because many British caravanners enjoy summer holidays in France and Holland etc with supplies of UK foods on board.

The noise is such, anyway, that the FCDO has issued an update to its travel advice to tell British visitors to Spain that “You cannot take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries. There are some exceptions for medical reasons, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons. Check the rules about taking food and drink into the EU on the European Commission website.”

I’ll close this to comments since this is just information, not gloating or incitement … those who take it as such presumably felt that warnings that this was inevitable were Project Fear. It wasn’t.