Our common heritage

By the time this is published we may have had something else dramatic happen here in the UK, but I for one am happy that Boris is being reined in by the responsible members of his party and the opposition for now. He has stopped touring the British hinterlands, taken the hecklers’ advice and is now talking with people who can actually do something, such as the Irish Taoiseach and the EU. We await the results of his discussions with Leo Varadkar.

I was in picturesque Bruges (or Brugge) in Belgium this weekend, being reminded by the British flag flying alongside the Belgian one above its town hall, the plaque marking where Charles II resided while he was in exile, and the display in the local deli and cheese shop (see photo) about the Continental connection Britain has long had with Europe. The Godminster heart-shaped cheddar is an apt symbol and was a nice touch, I think. Europe seems quite intent on love-bombing the UK back into the fold in small ways. I am not sure if it will work, but it is good to see.

Back to Ireland, the Irish co-operatives seem to be preemptively keeping their prices paid for milk low, and some have said this is due to uncertainty over Brexit (I await the day when we can stop saying that). Meanwhile, prices for milk are holding in the EU and the UK, although it does depend on which processor you are and for what purpose you are using the milk.

Arla UK has held its farmgate price stable for the last eight months, and the EU average milk price, according to the Milk Market Observatory, has shown a slight increase in prices paid to farmers. Arla also reported rare market stability in its recent revenue reports, but Müller’s pricing is almost five pence lower than Arla’s. All this aside, it is weirdly calm. Best get your tin hat on, hide under the bed and make sure you have a cheese sandwich to snack on.

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