“No dogs allowed” is back

On the 14th of February, the Dutch Foreign minister was driven to distraction by a big blue Brexit muppet on his desk, impeding him to get anything done (see:https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/14/project-fur-brexit-is-a-big-blue-monster-say-the-dutch ). Only him being bold already, saved him from pulling out his hair. Today, Monday 25th, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte was all over British news media, desperately pleading with the British government to get a Brexit deal through parliament, and thereby avoiding a No Deal Brexit. A no deal Brexit will not only disrupt, nay destroy the British economy, its international traffic of people, medicines and foodstuffs, but will also hit their oldest trans-Channel ally and trading partner: the Netherlands, like a ton of bricks (equaling Napoleons “Continental System”, 1806-13; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_System ).

The reasons the Dutch government (fully representing the fears and feelings of its 17 million citizens) makes such a show of its disturbance, annoyance, and grief about the impending chaos Brexit, especially the No Deal variant Rees-Mogg and Boris insist on, will bring, are to be seen from two severe warnings which were also covered by Dutch media today.

On the commercial radio station “Business News Radio” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BNR_Newsradio ), an affiliate of our Financial Times-like daily, chairman Anton Valk of the Dutch-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC; see http://www.nbcc.co.uk/about-the-nbcc/organisation ) was urging all Dutch enterprises importing anything from Britain, from British companies to urgently look elsewhere for sources of what they’re importing, warning them those imports can be blocked or held up in a No Deal Brexit situation now looming large on the horizon. Needless to say, if the substitute source (in most cases: from inside the EU) proves to be better, its logistics more trustworthy, the British company who was the source, seriously risks losing that contract forever. The eventual delaying of the Brexit Day from 29th of March until say this summer or next year doesn’t diminish the relevance of those warnings one bit; the enduring uncertainty is instead likely to encourage continental importers to seek certainty with EU substitutes to former UK trading partners.

Moreover, the BBC-like public broadcasting news network NOS – told about our government agency controlling Food, Drinks and Animal Welfare (NVWA), warning Dutch people travelling to and from the UK that if they return after a No-Deal-Brexit Day, their animals and pets will be put into long quarantine. This was just the case in my grammar school days (1968-’74) before the UK entered the EEC. The NVWA warned that all animals have to carry identifying microchips under their skin; and dogs must be proven to have been vaccinated against rabies (and a blood test at the border is obligatory to see if the vaccination took hold, was effective). Remembering the pre-1973 days, I suppose the same thing goes for all foreign animals (cattle or pets) wanting to enter the UK. British international Dog Shows, beware!

That reminded me of the blind Puertorican singer-songwriter Jose Feliciano (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Feliciano), who is 1969 had a big Dutch top 10 hit with his lament of having to put his indispensable guide dog into quarantine on his first visit to the UK “No dogs allowed” (youtube recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvHgWmPPEAA ).

Are those bad old days back?

* Dr. Bernard Aris is a historian, a D66 parliamentary researcher and a LibDem supporting member.

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This entry was posted in News and Op-eds.


  • You are of cause right Bernard, the uncertainty will cause lasting harm to the UK economy. Only remaining removes the uncertainty with minimal pain, exit without a deal removes the uncertainty with maximum pain, any other deal just drags on the uncertainty. Alas when the Brexiteers and Lexi opened Pandora’s box they gave no thought to the consequences, delusional in their belief in”Empire II”, “Faries and Unicorns”, “We hold all the cards”, “Back to our Glourious Past” et al. Even after reality hits them repeatedly in the face they mutter “Well my little village is OK”. I’m afraid only a hard Brexit would cure them and even then many would blame the disaster on remoaners lacking faith. We present a sad picture to the world, a small rock in the Atlantic populated by the deeply delusional. Tis sad.

  • Presumably if we want a referendum then Mays deal has to be voted down, unless in an effort toprotect its passage the government says the deal will be put to the people. This requires the EU to be unmoving. Having said that I guess the ERG will fall into line and support it.

  • No one of course really wants to leave the EU without a deal. There have to be agreements of thousands of things otherwise we would have to close our borders to the rest of Europe. A lot of the argument is about posturing. There will be agreements. If we were to move from zero tariffs at the end of March, we would have to agree how to run the system.
    As far as I can see only the Prime Minister knows what is really happening. And she refuses to tell anyone else. The deadlock will only be resolved if the rest of the EU tell her what she wants.

  • Presumably if we want a referendum then Mays deal has to be voted down,

    I think from last nights analysis, it seems that May is effectively challenging Parliament to take control – ie. finish Cromwell’s work and totally overrule the monarchy/executive. Interestingly the Fixed Term Parliament Act allows Parliament to select a new PM from within its ranks – it will be interesting to see if a cross-party consensus can be reached or whether the two party system is too deeply entrenched…

  • Barry Lofty 27th Feb '19 - 1:05pm

    Mrs May is continually pandering to the extreme right wing in her party as have most of the previous Tory Prime Ministers and until MPs grap their chance and take control of this awful Brexit mess , Rees Mogg and his coherts will always win!!

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