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A roadmap for Optimism


Andy
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If we are able to travel this year, but only if we have been vaccinated, I suspect that few families will be able to go abroad in the school summer holidays, particularly those in Scotland as our schools return mid-August. I'm in my 50s and the current estimate for me having my second vaccine is mid to late July. The majority of parents of school age children will be in their 30s and 40s and will be vaccinated later than I will be.

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Wow - I am happy! Thank you France! I mean this is fantastic news for people like me who need to go across to check house, pay bills and make sure the Tresorie has not drained their bank account.

 

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41 minutes ago, SRN4 said:

Wow - I am happy! Thank you France! I mean this is fantastic news for people like me who need to go across to check house, pay bills and make sure the Tresorie has not drained their bank account.

 

I think that we should wait until we see the detail before celebrating too much, anyway a lot can change in a couple of months before we are allowed out.

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Well that is true, but I do have a reason to travel that meets the intent of the current UK Gov Travel form. The blocker for me was the French border restrictions. Now I can not travel till Easter anyway, but if this is as promised, then I will grab what I can.

Now as long as another blimin variant does not come along and give our overlords a new excuse to lock us all in...

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One of the UK manufacturer/exporters of Stilton cheese, based in Derbyshire has stopped exporting to the EU (about 20% of its small order business on line) as they reckon the cost of the certification for each consignment is £180, irrespective of size.  (This according BBC East Midlands)  Not clear if this is due to Brexit or Covid!

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Just now, nottingham said:

One of the UK manufacturer/exporters of Stilton cheese, based in Derbyshire has stopped exporting to the EU (about 20% of its small order business on line) as they reckon the cost of the certification for each consignment is £180, irrespective of size.  (This according BBC East Midlands)  Not clear if this is due to Brexit or Covid!

Brexit, loads of businesses on both sides of the channel will need to adapt by setting up distribution centres on the other side. Remember that meat and dairy are subject to restrictions. It is no longer viable for a lot of companies on either side to send orders directly to the consumer on the other side. It is simpler and cheaper to do the paperwork on one lorry load moving to a distribution centre than it is do do it on 1000 parcels !

The good news is that all companies will need to think Global !

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I just sent secondhand tyres to Belgium. Paperwork not too onerous and I think (hope) that I got it right, but nervous I have not. The person I sent them to will need to pay 20% VAT. Now considering that someone already paid 20% VAT when they were first bought a few years ago, that means that tax is getting charged twice - in itself not that unusual. However Governments will be making quite a pretty penny out of VAT in the next few years as cars, boats, parts etc. get moved around between the EU and UK.

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The good news is that all companies will need to think Global !

Not necessarily. My hobby is model making and many of the suppliers, both in the UK and in the EU are small family concerns. A number have already decided that the amount of business they do on the opposite side of the Channel simply isn't worth all the extra paperwork, hassle and cost and that situation is not likely to change. Consequently we have less choice than before Brexit. It appears to be easier to order from China...

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I am currently setting up a French limited company (SARL) for my Plymouth based sailmaker son. He shares design software with a loft in Granville, who also cut panels for him as they have a sexy laser cutter. These then get sent to Plymouth for assembly and finishing. One recent order was for a UK client but with a boat in Spain. The regular transporter they used will not take cross Channel stuff till things settle, plus VAT would need to be dealt with at each step, so the Granville loft made and despatched the sail and credit Plymouth with a commission. Said commission is less than the margin if the sail was made in Plymouth.

In Plymouth, he is the only non EU client for a specialist laminate cloth supplier in France. Super nice people, but not interested in the hassle for 1 client. Plymouth source stuff from a number of EU companies.

So we will channel all EU purchases and supplies through the new French company, which can deal with input and output VAT, and simplify the whole cross border mess. A single transporter has been chosen, who knows exactly who he will be dealing with, so paperwork and procedures can be sorted out together.

The net result is a loss of income to the UK sadly.

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The net result is a loss of income to the UK sadly.

I think we will see a lot of this unfortunately. Businesses will act in their own best interests, they are not interested in Brexit flag waving.

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2 hours ago, cvabishop said:

I think we will see a lot of this unfortunately. Businesses will act in their own best interests, they are not interested in Brexit flag waving.

Didn't see that on the side of any busses.....

Getting back on subject, we should maybe remember, this is not about what we can do, but what we should do.

The recent S4C documentary highlighted how, when travel for holidays from high infection areas  to low infection areas was banned in England. Boris refused to extend the order to include travel to Wales. The Senedd in Cardiff did not have the power to ban this themselves.

This was just before infection rates really took off in Wales.

I had personal experience of this, sat in the "office" someone breezed in, declined to wear a mask, he had a right not to, so he said, he was on holiday, he had a right to, he had a right to buy beer.

Entering into the spirit, mine host said: he had a right not to serve him.  Futhermore he had a right to ask him to leave.

And, said several of us, if he was finding it hard to leave, we would help him through the door....

He could indeed do many of those things he wanted - but they were not the right things to do.

Rhys

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The way I see things at this time, I don't see any hope of free travel any time soon as our hopes are built up then kick down hard with more restrictions and more control untill we do what the goverments wish and with covid and brexit on top what do we have, ? I don't think it's freedom.

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4 minutes ago, Eddies said:

The way I see things at this time, I don't see any hope of free travel any time soon as our hopes are built up then kick down hard with more restrictions and more control untill we do what the goverments wish and with covid and brexit on top what do we have, ? I don't think it's freedom.

I think you are being quite over pessimistic there.

With that kind of attitude things will never get any better. Thankfully not everybody thinks like you.

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I do think that the Government is on the edge of exceeding its authority. I am not sure it has crossed the line just yet, but the next couple of weeks will demonstrate whether they need to be reminded that they govern by the will of the people. I definitely think that they need to be reminded that what they propose should both be logical and reasonably practible to both enforce and abide. This whole testing thing is ridiculous - test before no more than 72 hours before departure and then again on day 2 and day 8 after your return? To be generous it is gold plating at everyone else's expense (its blimin expensive); to be honest it is not balancing risk, cost and reward correctly.

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17 minutes ago, Le Quiberon said:

Thankfully not everybody thinks like you.

I am getting a bit more positive, I have started looking at hotels for our July Spanish/ French trip and will be booking them this weekend - no harm in being positive (as long as they are fully cancellable).

It is spring, the Daffodils are out and generally rates are falling. 

This holiday was moved from last July and in retrospect I should have gone on it then.

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6 minutes ago, SRN4 said:

 to be honest it is not balancing risk

I think that it is at present, not many should be travelling anyway and the current priority is understanding what variants are being imported.

It will be interesting what the logic is in May when travel is allowed. BA are offering a lateral flow kit that can be taken abroad and then used under video supervision prior to return - that seems a good idea.

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20 minutes ago, David Williams said:

I think that it is at present, not many should be travelling anyway and the current priority is understanding what variants are being imported.

It will be interesting what the logic is in May when travel is allowed. BA are offering a lateral flow kit that can be taken abroad and then used under video supervision prior to return - that seems a good idea.

£33 quid!!! you can buy a box of 20 for £99.

 

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Infection rates are rising here in Maine et Loire and we are now the worst placed department in the Pays de la Loire. The prefect said during a press conference that the good weather during the last three weekends had led to people letting down their guard. He also have the example of people sitting in the parks without masks and not abiding by the rules. This is the same prefect who, a few weeks ago, apparently told his police not to check too many people and try to avoid issuing fines to not annoy the local population. When I ask my students what they did at the weekend, the most common answer is dinner with friends or neighbours. They are completely ignoring the curfew as the general impression is that there no checks. Meanwhile, I'm staying at home cutting the grass and building Lego models with my daughter because I've booked a trip for late April and I really want it to go ahead 

Ed

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All these suggestions to facilitate international travel are becoming very confusing, too much so. Things will need to be simplified by international agreement with common accepted protocols which are likely to be a mix of vaccination 'passports' and streamlined testing. (and maybe reduced quarantine periods - do we really want people coming here from Brazil at the moment?)

But it all does depend on countries achieving more or less equally low level infection rates which is certainly not the case at the moment, even in Western Europe. Just compare the UK and France for example.

In the UK it is important to open up as much as possible to at least permit general travel within the UK and staycations involving being able to stay at hotels/B&Bs and not just self catering accommodation but this does mean that the risk level of infection 'hot spots' must be driven down to where they cannot spark off a resurgence of infections. The vaccination programme should be instrumental in achieving this as long as there are not too many refuseniks.

The danger with international travel is of course the risk of importing Covid variants which do not respond sufficiently to the current vaccines. Until the vaccines are updated to deal with these we will need to be very careful indeed.

What does continue to bug me is that we are living through the worst pandemic of modern times with hundreds of thousands of people dying worldwide and infection rates generally increasing yet the Great British Public appear to be obsessed with whether they will be able to catch the rays on a Spanish beach in the Summer. Is anybody looking at the reports coming out of Brazil where the health facilities are being overwhelmed for example?

We have a good chance in the UK at the moment of  supressing the virus to allow more or less normal life from early summer onwards. It was international travel that spread this thing around the world with all its variants so I believe that  border controls are stil vital while infection rates remain so much higher outside the UK. At the moment things seem to be getting a lot better here but that is not a given and it would be so easy for us to be knocked back as has already happened last Autumn when people dared to hope we were over the worse only to be hit by the massive surge in infections after Christmas.

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3 minutes ago, jonno said:

£33 quid!!! you can buy a box of 20 for £99.

 

Yes, however you are getting it supervised (ish) with a link to your passport and a 'certificate', it saves the hassle of finding a local provider. The alternative would be to make the carriers perform the test at checkin.

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