This time two years ago, many were reeling from what they thought could never happen. Britain chose to leave the EU. Widespread political chaos has kept everyone's brains suitably mangled ever since. But how the UK will really be affected is yet to be seen. One rumour that has been doing the rounds, however, is this supposed Brexit cheese crisis. But surely that's not true? That's got to be plain old scaremongering, right?
Erm, I'm really sorry everyone, but, turns out, this could be an actual thing. I know, I'm scared too.
A recent study by London School Of Economics has suggested that Brexit could affect the price of cheese. Please, don't spit out that bit of camembert in shock, you might not be able to afford it soon. Like it or lump it, cheese might have to get the chop, and I don't mean the chopping board.
This might come as a shock to some of the most hardcore Brexiteers, but no matter what your political standpoint is, everyone knows that some of the best cheese in the world comes from our European neighbours. Imagine traipsing down to the local super market, only to see that your regular accidental purchase of eight different cheeses when you just popped out to buy a loaf of bread, might actually have to end. Cheese might become, gulp, an occasional luxury.
This is not a drill, this could potentially happen. The London School Of Economics study, titled The Impact Of Brexit On The UK Dairy Sector, which was commissioned by dairy food giant Arla Foods, has proved our worst fears may actually come true. Speaking about the report, the UK managing director of Arla Foods, Ash Amirahmadi said in a press release:
"Our dependence on imported dairy products means that disruption to the supply chain will have a big impact. Most likely we would see shortages of products and a sharp rise in prices, turning everyday staples like butter, yoghurts, cheese and infant formula, into occasional luxuries. Speciality cheeses, where there are currently limited options for production, may become very scarce."
Yes, you heard the man. All of the extra customs checking, restrictions, and general chaos means that the prices of dairy products is likely set to absolutely soar.
The fact that we are a dairy-loving nation means that we have to import a lot of dairy from abroad. Like a lot. According to the paper, the UK does not make enough moo juice to keep up with the needs of us cheese-lovers. So it needs help from countries like Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium and Denmark.
Don't get me wrong, there are like, heaps of delicious UK made cheeses. Give me some Cornish Yarg or a Somerset Brie any day. I will eat them, enjoy them, even recommend them to fellow cheese chompers. However, I will not be restricted to UK only cheeses.
What if I long to taste the sharp, smoky depths of a Smoked Gubbeen from Ireland, or some salty AF Greek Feta to perfectly top that sad-looking salad? Well, it looks like I may have to soon start shelling out a serious wedge of cash. The facts are all there in black and white, as stated by the World Trading Organisation. If the UK bails on the EU without a deal, it has to take the hit. Lisa O'Carroll, Brexit correspondent for the Guardian stated that: "If the UK crashes out of the EU with no deal and defaults to World Trading Organisation rules, prices will almost certainly rise as dairy products, along with meat, attract high tariffs. A milk product with a fat content of 3 percent to 6 percent has a tariff of 74 percent, while fresh mozzarella is rated at 41 percent and unripened cheese at 68 percent."
Yep, massive tariffs on one of life's true joys, cheese. As if things weren't getting crappy enough, they are potentially taking away our frickin cheese, mate.
This coupled with a paper from The Journal Of Wine Economics that suggests that wine prices might soar by a pretty sobering 25 percent too means that wine and cheese parties might become a thing of the past.
That's it. I'm moving.