From our Swindon correspondent:
Well, this is rather beautiful:-
The wine sector faces woes of its own, however, including one bit of paperwork that industry leaders say is so cumbersome, impractical and “bonkers” it could scar the sector for ever: the VI-1 import certificate.
The VI-1 is a classic example of the bureaucratic drudgery that British businesses have avoided for much of the 47 years since the UK joined the European project.
EU countries have long required wine shipped in from so-called third countries, or non-EU members, such as Australia, to be accompanied by the form, which typically includes a lab analysis of qualities such as alcoholic strength and acidity. But the VI-1 was not needed for wine shipped inside the bloc, which was just as well for the UK, a nation of quaffers responsible for a large share of the world’s wine imports for centuries.
Or more accurately, British businesses that imported wine from the EU avoided it. The British businesses importing wine from Australia, Chile and Lebanon had to go through all that protectionist bullshit. We left the EU, kept all the rules for now but because the rest of the EU is outside our zone, they get the same rules as everyone else, until we change the law.
“It is potentially vast,” says Rebecca Palmer, a wine buyer at Corney & Barrow, a London merchant founded before the French revolution that imports fine EU wines, including DRC.
She fears a raft of complex, costly paperwork could make some fine wines dearer and scarcer in the UK, especially those produced and shipped in very small quantities.
“Not only is it onerous but from a cost point of view it all becomes prohibitive,” she says. “You’ve got to ask yourself the question if you are a producer: can I be bothered to supply the UK?”
Which was the whole point of it in the first place for everyone outside the EU. Add a load of costs, people are less likely to import, leaving the market to EU producers. And you did nothing, absolutely nothing to complain about it for anyone else, so now it’s hurting you, you can va te faire foutre
, as they might say in Burgundy.