Brexit: Truck drivers from UK heading to the EU face ban on ham sandwiches

EU regulations on biosecurity will affect English cargo haulers starting on 1 January. 

Taking a ham and cheese sandwich, or other meat and dairy products, to eat while driving from the UK to the EU will be outlawed for truck drivers.

As part of a ban on personal imports of products of animal origin, which will also apply to tourists traveling from the UK to the EU, the guidelines on an ordinary sandwich have been updated. 

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“From 1 January 2021 you will not be able to bring POAO (products of animal origin) such as those containing meat or dairy (eg a ham and cheese sandwich) into the EU,” states The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 

The range of new rules that will be put into action on 1 January are a response to Brexit.  The European commission emphasized that “Personal goods containing meat, milk or their products brought into the EU continue to present a real threat to animal health throughout the union. It is known, for example, that dangerous pathogens that cause animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease and classical swine fever can reside in meat, milk or their products,” it said.

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Produce arriving in the EU from non- EU countries will be subject to the food ban.  This is just one of many issues drivers will face in the wake of Brexit, regardless of whether Britain and the European Union reach a deal or not. 

In an interview with The Guardian, Simon Wilkinson, a UK operator of a fleet of trucks collecting vegetables from Belgium, warned it could cause friction at the border.

“God help the poor customs bloke who is going to turf out the driver’s packing up box [food box]. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are fisticuffs if they try,” said Mr. Wilkinson.  “The thing is, when drivers are going to Europe they pack up their box for days and weeks.  The tractor [the cab of the trailer] is basically their home from home.  You have microwaves, the works, in your tractor so that if you do get stuck, or if you are away for a week if you are going somewhere like Spain, you are self-sufficient.”

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However, the EU regulations do allow the transport of chocolate and candy, meaning truckers can hold onto their Yorkie bars.

Ph: tothdst /