Now Brexit red tape chaos hits Cliff Richard: Wine orders from singer’s vineyard in the Algarve to the UK are lost or delayed by increased bureaucracy
- Sir Cliff owns vineyard Adega do Cantor in Algarve region in southern Portugal
- Makes award-winning Vida and Onda Nova wines for £11.50 to £14.50 a bottle
- UK’s new trading relationship with the EU has lead to massive delivery delays
Sir Cliff Richard’s Portuguese vineyard has been badly hit by Brexit, with orders to the UK being lost and delayed due to red tape border chaos.
Sir Cliff owns vineyard Adega do Cantor – or Winery of the Singer – in the sun-drenched Algarve region in southern Portugal.
The vineyard makes award-winning Vida and Onda Nova wines which it sells for between £11.50 and £14.50 a bottle.
But the UK’s new trading relationship with the EU has lead to massive delivery delays and resulted in orders going missing.
Sir Cliff Richard’s Portuguese vineyard (pictured) has been badly hit by Brexit, with orders to the UK being lost and delayed due to red tape border chaos
Britain and the EU struck a Christmas Eve free-trade deal, allowing UK importers to avoid trade tariffs and quotas when the Brexit transition period ended on January 1.
But the departure from the single market and customs union has resulted in rafts of new paperwork and bureaucratic checks causing massive delays and hold-ups at the border.
And issues will likely get worse when new import checks come into force in April.
Sir Cliff’s friend Nigel Birch – who is Adega do Cantor’s chief winemaker – released a video explaining the problems the vineyard is facing.
He said: ‘Our online shop has been having difficulties because of Brexit bureaucracy – getting trucks into the UK. We’ve lost a number of orders at the borders.
‘Our transport people that we use are having great difficulties, but assure us that once we’ve got everything sorted out we should be back online.
Sir Cliff owns vineyard Adega do Cantor (some of its wine, pictured) – or Winery of the Singer – in the sun-drenched Algarve region in southern Portugal
‘For the rest of Europe things are pretty much the same.’
The vineyard also posted on its Facebook page, warning of the difficulties.
It said: ‘For all our UK based customers! Due to Brexit, please be aware that we are experiencing difficulties and delays with getting our wines to you.
Sir Cliff was at his Portuguese villa when he heard of the high-profile televised police raid on his Berkshire mansion in 2014.
Sir Cliff was at his Portuguese villa when he heard of the high-profile televised police raid on his Berkshire mansion in 2014. The singer has since successfully sued the BBC for invasion of privacy over the incident
The singer has since successfully sued the BBC for invasion of privacy over the incident.
Sir Cliff put up his 11-bedroom Portuguese vineyard for sale in 2016 with an asking price of £8million – but he dropped the price to £4.6million in 2017.
When the property first hit the market, Sir Cliff said: ‘It is time to slow down the treadmill and hand over the dream to someone who can dedicate more time to this wonderful venture than we can.
But the UK’s new trading relationship with the EU has lead to massive delivery delays and resulted in orders going missing. Pictured: Trucks bound for Britain queue in Calais
‘Creating and establishing the winery has been a truly exhilarating and rewarding experience. It has been hard work but we are immensely proud of what has been achieved here.’
The Government last month warned of worsening chaos at Britain’s ports as lorry traffic returns to normal levels after companies’ rushed to stockpile goods.
Projections from the Cabinet Office anticipate cross-Channel freight will rise rapidly following a New Year slowdown, The Times reported.
Tailbacks stretching for miles are expected if drivers aren’t equipped with the correct customs paperwork or negative Covid tests which the French demand.
The Government last month warned of worsening chaos at Britain’s ports as lorry traffic returns to normal levels after companies’ rushed to stockpile goods. Pictured: Boris Johnson
‘Of course we can in future discuss how to have less friction,’ an EU diplomat told The Times.
‘Discussing further facilitation or ways to reduce friction would depend on what the UK is doing and where they want to go.
‘Initiating that conversation and negotiation will not be made easier if the other side of the table is talking up deregulation or Singapore on the Thames.’
Britain formally left the EU last January but remained within its regulatory orbit until the end of the year under the terms of its divorce.
Although the two sides struck a Christmas Eve free-trade deal, avoiding trade tariffs and quotas, the departure from the single market and customs union has resulted in bureaucracy and hold-ups.
The Government last month warned of worsening chaos at Britain’s ports as lorry traffic returned to normal levels once a rush to stockpile goods stopped. Pictured: Lorries queue at Dover in January
Britain and the EU are continuing to tie up loose ends to allow for free flowing freight – while the Cabinet Office has warned of the worst days at the ports since December 31.
Lorry traffic lulled after Brexit as stockpiles on either side of the Channel had been prepared by nervous traders.
But now those supplies are dwindling and traffic is picking up again.
Stephen Bartlett, chairman of the Association of Freight Software Suppliers, told The Times: ‘We’ve been lucky so far. Traffic volumes through ports have been quite low. But the next couple of weeks are going to be the main test.
‘There could be more disruption as trucks come through that aren’t prepared with paperwork or drivers who haven’t been tested for Covid. There will be more issues. Then we could see some of these lorry parks starting to fill up.’
Earlier this month, executive chairman of JD Sport Peter Cowgill said shipping delays caused by Brexit red tape is costing ‘millions’.
He said the total disruption in getting goods into mainland Europe has sent costs soaring into the ‘double digit millions’.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s World At one, Cowgill said that JD Sport is looking to secure a new distribution site in Europe to help side-step tariffs and disruption.
JD Sport said that the new warehouse, which will employ around 1,000 members of staff, could have been constructed in the UK but will now remain within the EU following the UK’s exit deal.
Despite this, no jobs at the company’s UK distribution sites will be affected by the move.
Mr Cowgill said the amount of post-Brexit red tape has been ‘very significant’, slowed down its trade processes and added to costs.
‘They said we have a free-trade arrangement but that’s really not the case,’ he said.
‘If you source from the Far East and bring products to the UK and then ship to stores, the tariffs apply.
‘With the tariffs that apply, it would make a lot of economic sense to have a distribution centre in Europe as well the UK – it would mean the transfer of a number of jobs into Europe.
‘It’s considerably worse than predicted.
‘The implications of it have probably been appreciated after the event and probably not attracted the airtime and publicity that they otherwise would have done because Covid is more serious at present.’
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