…for those trips to Europe.
Cigarettes are to rise in price again and there is now a system in place whereby no pack of cigarettes can cost less than £7.24. You can get a pack for less than half that in any other country in Europe.
Assuming we do eventually leave the EU, there will be a limit imposed on how many cigarettes we can bring back per person. There is no limit on how many you can bring back for your own use at the moment due to the EU’s free movement of goods rules but if you have loads, expect to have them stolen by border control anyway. So the imposition of a limit isn’t any reason to stay in the EU.
If the limit is, say, 300 (15 packs) then if you have a weekend in Europe you’ll save about £54 per person by stocking up while there.
The tobacco story is an old one. I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t cheaper everywhere outside the UK. Even as a child, if we went to France or Spain my dad would take the limit home and so would my mum (who never smoked). Lately my parents often went to Portugal and brought me home five 50g packs of rolling baccy. At the time it was a gift worth at least £75 at UK prices. They paid half that. Unfortunately they are getting too old for those trips.
Oh yes, my parents are still alive. My father, a lifelong smoker and my mother, a lifelong passive smoker, are both still alive. Neither have experienced cancer. It’s not just me who defies NHS statistics. It’s the whole family.
Alcohol is also a lot cheaper in most EU countries. I noticed, in Germany, that whiskies like Famous Grouse were the same price in little corner shops as they are in big supermarkets here. I also noticed that only the idiots in charge of the UK have fallen for hiding tobacco behind doors and putting them in plain packs. Nobody else has fallen for this one.
Nobody else will fall for the utterly cretinous notion of putting all booze, including fine malt whiskies, into plain packs and hiding them behind shutters. Oh it’s coming. Plain packs for ‘non-approved’ foods is already being talked about as the Next Logical Step in the bullying of the entire nation. These thugs are never satisfied. Never. When they have total control they will start telling you how many steps you have to take every day – oh wait, that one’s already out there.
Now we have a tax on sugar. Initially on sugary drinks but if you think it will end there you really haven’t been paying attention at all. Imagine a world where Coke and Pepsi are in the same olive drab packaging with photos of meth mouth and Cyril Smith on every bottle. The company name relegated to 10-point Times New Roman. It’s all behind doors and you have to ask for it. Imagine it well because if you are under 50 you’ll see it in your lifetime.
Fancy a burger? You’ll get it with MACDONALDS on the olive green box in 10-point Times New Roman with a picture of someone syringing lard through an artery on the top. Actually not hard to copy. I like liver and it often has a large artery or two going through it.
Fancy fish and chips? It’ll be a lot smaller and cost more, not least because the chip shop has to buy olive green wrapping paper with pictures of Bernard Manning nude and a warning that all fish are so full of mercury that they will roll off the table if left unattended.
Oh I know. You’re scoffing. You don’t believe it can happen.
Go back to 2004 and tell the pub customers that soon they will be banned from smoking in there. Tell them they will buy cigarettes in drab green packs from behind doors and they will pay £7.24 for the cheapest brand. Listen to them scoff at you.
You’re going to need a van for a lot more than tobacco on future visits abroad. If you fly it will very likely be well worth paying an excess baggage charge.
As for smugglers, they’re likely to steal Mr. MacDonald’s favourite line.
‘I’m lovin’ it’.