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Spectator Money

Is it time for a Brexit recipe book?

1 February 2019

12:01 PM

1 February 2019

12:01 PM

What to do about the coming shortage of green groceries of which several supermarkets warned yet again this week if there is a no-deal Brexit on 29 March? I am just old enough to remember when fresh fruit and veg were in short supply at this time of year. People used to know how to store things to mitigate the problem: apples would be carefully laid out on straw-strewn shelves. We ate lots of root vegetables and not much greenery. If ever you saw a strawberry out of season it came, for some reason, from Israel.

Perhaps it is time for a Brexit recipe book, like those comforting wartime rationing ones full of bright ideas for dull things. In our part of the south coast we have racier ideas. We have a centuries-old tradition of smuggling (‘brandy for the parson, baccy for the clerk’), and are ready to set out in our little ships to Dunkirk or wherever and bring back luscious black-market lettuces and French beans, oranges and lemons. Our Sussex and Kent smugglers used to be known as ‘free traders’, which is interesting and — if we have to sneak over an EU tariff wall — entirely appropriate for today.

This is an extract from The Spectator’s Notes


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