Brexit has robbed Paris of baked beans

 

Brexit has robbed Paris of baked beans
To grasp the impact of Brexit, says John Lichfield, you could do worse than study the “unlikely love affair” between M&S and France. It opened a store in Paris in 1975, the first of 18 large French outlets, and despite teething problems (marmalade pots were labelled sans préservatifs – “without condoms”) became an “ambassador for the British way of life and underwear”. But after a while, the French tired of M&S clothes (“comfortable but not very elegant... irretrievably English”, as one disillusioned consumer put it), leading the retailer to close all its stores in 2001. Yet the French still retained a soft spot for M&S delicacies, notably baked beans (haricots à la sauce tomate), scotch eggs (viande aux oeufs) and mini-sausages; and ever since, a small chain of M&S food outlets has done a roaring trade. But now, thanks to Brexit-induced customs rules, such goodies can no longer roll into France, from the main M&S depot in Northampton, unimpeded. The French shelves are empty. Brexit was meant to deliver a “new Global Britain”, and one day perhaps it will. “But one of its first achievements may be the eviction of the British sausage from France.”

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