“It’s a tragedy if exports to England are lost”

Poeldijk’s pot and bed plant grower Aad Scheffers is on the edge of his seat in front of TV on Thursday evening, when it becomes clear Prime Minister Boris Johnson has won a majority in parliament. “Brexit is almost certain now,” he reacts sadly. ‘I’m sorry, it would have been much better for our region if there was a new referendum.’

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The producer is particularly concerned about all kinds of delays during the export process as there can be strict rules on customs. ‘As a result, plants may have to live in wagons for very long, which is a ghost.’ In addition, he fears that he will lose part of his sales territory. ‘We export 30-40 per cent of our production to England. If we lose it, it’s a play. The world is big, so we will definitely look for other sales areas, but they won’t be one, two, three.’


Zoetermeer’s Evofendex, an entrepreneurial association working on the best logistics for business companies, is glad Johnson has the majority of the vote. ‘What we feared did not happen; That is, no deal would have happened; Then there would be real chaos’, says general manager Bart Jan Koopman. ‘Now there is finally clarity that there will be a Brexit, which gives our supporters peace of mind.’

Even if we don’t work on this with the British, there can still be chaos – Bart Jan Koopman, director Ivofendex

According to him, the same supporters have already taken a lot of measures to prepare for a possible Brexit. For example, they have put in all kinds of measures that make it easier to respond to delays. In addition, the stock is also built in, in case there is a sudden tough Brexit deal.’ According to Koopman, we just can’t breathe a sigh of relief. So from January 31, 2020, England will leave the EU and a new trade agreement will be worked out in the period until 2021. Even if we do not compromise with the British, anarchy can spread.

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Kelly Kelly is the owner of the expat shop Kelly’s Expat Shopping in Wassenaar. Further negotiations are very important to her, given that she imports huge quantities from England. ‘There has to be a trade deal, because without a deal I’ll have to deal with heavy import duties. It is not a small palette, but a lot; The results are incalculable.’

‘Besides, the pound is going up; So the question is whether people are willing to pay 8 euros for a pot of Marmite, a vegetarian herb paste. British expatriates visiting the store are also not happy with the new developments. “I would still buy here, but much less.”

‘It gets tough’

According to Jan-Willem Thoen, Brexit expert at PricewaterhouseCoopers, entrepreneurs may not know much about Brexit in the short term. There will be a transition phase by the end of 2020. After that, the United Kingdom is the third country. This means procedures to be followed for import and export of goods, customs formalities and perhaps levies. It is getting tougher.’

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Read also: The approaching Brexit deadline creates a lot of uncertainty for fishermen

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About the Author: Piers Parker

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