Brexit won't lead to a flood of English champagne across the Continent, no, really, it won't

Our soon to be no longer Lords and Masters in Brussels appear to be getting their gussets in a twist over something that will not happen:

The European Union is concerned that British companies could violate protections given to the names of thousands of European products – such as parma ham and champagne – while the protected status of foodstuffs such as West Country Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese is retained after Brexit.

The European commission has given “geographical indication” (GI) status to 1,150 products, meaning companies can only use the name of a locality in their marketing if the product is from that area.

When the UK leaves the EU, it will no longer need to abide by the directives and could, for example, rename some English sparking wine as English champagne, or ham as English parma ham.

English champagne is that thing which will not happen. Because of the Treaty of Versailles from the end of World War 1 in fact:


Germany undertakes on condition that reciprocity is accorded in these matters to respect any law, or any administrative or judicial decision given in conformity with such law, in force in any Allied or Associated State and duly communicated to her by the proper authorities, defining or regulating the right to any regional appellation in respect of wine or spirits produced in the State to which the region belongs, or the conditions under which the use of any such appellation may be permitted; and the importation, exportation, manufacture, distribution, sale or offering for sale of products or articles bearing regional appellations inconsistent with such law or order shall be prohibited by the German Government and repressed by the measures prescribed in the preceding Article.

That is generally taken to mean that Champagne comes from Champagne, Cognac from Cognac and so on and on. The reason the Americans don't limit themselves in the same manner is because they never did ratify the Treaty of Versailles.

Not that this protected designation of origin is important in any manner. It only started in 1992 for all the other foods and we're really very sure that the world still turned upon its axis before that date.

Still, lucky we're leaving eh, if our Lords and Masters obsess with trivialities and even then manage to get them wrong?