James Withers Profile picture
Farming, fishing, food & drink in Scotland. A brilliant industry on an amazing journey. Some way to go yet & trying to help it a bit as CEO of @scotfooddrink
29 Jan
BREXIT; a 🧵 at the end of week 4.
Spoiler alert: it’s not good.
➡️It’s turns out that UKGovt saying things are getting better or that it’s “teething problems” doesn’t make it so.
➡️There is much more trouble ahead.
➡️The worrying parallels between Brexit and Covid responses.
Four reasons things will worsen:
1. freight volumes aren’t close to normal, they’ll rise.
In April (8 weeks):
2. the 1st real checks on EU imports start (bad news for food flow & haulage availability)
3. GB/NI grace periods end
4. more food products fall under new export rules
❗️Warning, we’ve been here before:
- Experts warn of trouble coming
- A short window to act
- UK Govt hopes it will all be OK, ignores evidence & warnings.
- Fails to act until too late.
For previous episodes, see end of the transition period (and Covid strategy)
Read 10 tweets
11 Jan
The reality of Brexit so far for many.
As of tonight, consolidated food loads are still not being taken to the EU by the main logistics firms. This food supply chain is now complex, costly & had no time to test its new systems. The result: EU trade has ground to a halt for many.
Daily meetings/calls trying to work through Brexit blockages. Problems so far include:
➡️Companies & hauliers struggling with paperwork
➡️IT systems in UK & France going down
➡️Food loads stuck because official product codes can’t be found
All efforts going into solutions
➡️Another session tmrw led by @SeafoodFromScot @ScotDevInt with companies on specific problems
➡️@FSScot has good resource at hubs. Logistics firms putting more staff in too
➡️Ministerial dialogue at Scottish & UK level
However, a key UKGov ask👇
Read 4 tweets
10 Jan
More messages from food exporters who are finding the door to the EU is now shut. Haulage firms won’t take their loads; bureaucratic/IT systems failing.
A multi-billion pound trade system is being tested for the 1st time, in real time. And it’s going wrong
Brexit, week 1 was bad. Week 2 will be worse.
UK Govt’s dismissal of the request from us (& most main business orgs) for a grace period was a critical mistake. By this time next week, pressure to revisit that will be even greater. Emergency financial aid may also be necessary.
The crux of all this is sheer complexity & lack of prep time. For a product that has 24hrs to get to market, small delays at diff points are crippling. This is the “simplified” 18-step process for moving fish from Scotland to France. This, on top of 8-step process for importers
Read 6 tweets