ON Wednesday afternoon in the early Alpine dusk we went Christmas shopping in five-centuries-old downtown Bern. At the best store, Bern’s answer to Harrods and Fortnum & Mason combined, the discerning Swiss were buying Marmite made in Britain, six jars at a time, because they’ve heard that the French and Germans will block everything they can from Britain. Not my words but those of the locals. They know real Marmite is made in Britain and Ireland.
The German import agent insists that all British labels are over-wrapped by labels with the name of – the German agent.
This is completely unnecessary in Switzerland where everyone speaks English if for no other reason than that they prefer English pop songs to German, which are pretty awful. According to my better half (her family Swiss and for a thousand years on her father’s side), Swiss always look to see precisely which vitamins are provided in a spread. Marmite is unusual because it has both B6 and B12. The importer’s label covered this and – we tested – destroyed the original label when you tried to remove the extra one.
Obviously as a former head of the embassy commercial drive in South Korea and a former member of the Chancery in Bern I’m always happy to see British products with a good import agent. On the other hand, the Swiss pay much higher prices than they would if British lines were imported direct by a Swiss agent. There’s a reason behind this modern commercial Festung Europa – that anonymous fat cat Germans make easy money from Treasure Island.
I took this picture to show the lengths to which some Germans will go to brainwash the Swiss into believing they manage everything already.
Has Dave Frost been pushed into offering the EU 40 per cent of our fishing rights? Barnier leaks that he has, a nameless senior official (ours) says nonsense, the idea is a non-starter.
Let’s say both are half right. And the EU turned it down. So withdraw the offer.
The Daily Express reports that the fall in our exports to the EU averages 8.3 per cent a country – roughly £50billion in value – yet globally we have exported more this year than last year, the only country in the top ten exporters to do that.
Keep your nerve, Boris. Let the EU walk away. Leave transition on New Year’s Eve. Revoke the Withdrawal Agreement – there’s no trade deal. Let the EU put up a border in Ireland and watch it pulled down overnight with dozens of North American TV crews filming.
Tell Joe Biden to mind his own business and make that clear to Obama, whose staff will run the White House during his third term incognito.
You will find that the EU will drop the Scots Nats like a mouldy haggis. The German parliament has made abundantly clear that Scotland without Treasure Island attached has no economic advantage for Germany.
You will find that the Irish may start thinking about escaping the EU’s clutch themselves.
And are the Ruth, Michael, Boris generation the same as the rest of us? I’m not sure they even come from the same country. And I have a feeling that a lot of my friends – who come from every part of the planet and together we stand for many a race and religion – may well all be asking themselves the same question.