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Supermarkets across the Continent have reportedly run out of haggis supplies ahead of tonight’s feast. It was claimed due to the shortage, Caledonian societies will now resort to tinned haggis to meet the demand. Export restrictions introduced after Brexit make it illegal for individuals to send or take haggis into the EU, even for personal consumption.
The European Commission said: “From January 1, 2021, it is prohibited to introduce certain products of animal origin such as meat and milk (including, for example, ham and cheese), into the EU from GB.
“This prohibition includes carrying them for personal consumption in your luggage.”
As a result of the rules, haggis makers claim they have seen mail order exports blocked at the UK border.
Around 50 percent of their parcels were rejected by customs officials, it was claimed.
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Haggis producer Macsween, which sells more than two million servings of the delicacy each January, said it had tried to avoid being snagged by red tape by sending out shipments ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period last year.
Managing director James McSween said the firm’s mail order partner had been hit by “quite significant difficulties” when exporting to individual customers.
He said: “On a typical Burns month we would usually see about 500 parcels going to Europe.
“This year about 150 have been sent with up to 70 not being delivered at all.”
Martin Morgan, of the Scottish Meat Wholesalers Association, said export volumes had slumped compared to previous years.
He added: “Our biggest challenge is getting consistency on how the rules are applied before the product is dispatched to Europe.”
The same export rules mean EU customs officials have been forced to confiscate packed lunches from unsuspecting British travellers.
But last week Express.co.uk reported that the EU could reconsider the meat and cheese ban at the border.
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An insider said No 10 and Brussels would soon open talks to paper over cracks in the UK-EU trade deal “which doesn’t cover everything”.
They admitted negotiations would have to be held because disruptions are still holding up cross-Channel business, saying: “It’s clear that things are not running as smoothly yet.”
The diplomat added: “It’s quite clear that not everybody on the Continental side was prepared very much for all of the red tape.”
Downing Street would have to make long-term promises not to adopt lower food standards, the source added.
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The insider said: “There might be questions about confiscating sandwiches at the border.
“Could we in the future discuss issues to have less frictions, of course, this is all in the governance structures in the TCA.
“But to discuss further facilitation, one way or another, to reduce friction also depends on what the UK is doing and where they want to go.
“If I read about ‘Singapore on Thames’ and increasing the working week beyond 48 hours – I don’t think that is is a good sign to have discussions on all all the outstanding issues.”
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