That Brexit is going to change things is rather the point of Brexit. Yet there are all too many people who really haven't grasped what is to change and what isn't:
A hard Brexit will mean ‘Swedish stilton, Polish pork pies and Belgian black pudding’ pushing out British favourites, Ministers were warned last night.
Food producers fear cheap foreign imposters masquerading as much-loved classics such as Melton Mowbray pork pies and Cornish clotted cream will dominate the UK market.
They warn EU rules that ban imitations passing themselves off as famous British foods will disappear if Theresa May’s threat to walk away from Brussels becomes a reality. More than 70 brands, including beers, worth about £1 billion are protected.
Representatives of British brands last night urged the Environment Secretary Michael Gove to make sure EU-style rules continue after 2019.
That's what the Great Repeal Bill does, takes all of those EU laws, directives and regulations and puts them into UK law. That is, the bill to fulfill this demand is already before Parliament.
Labour MP Chuka Umunna said it ‘beggars belief’ that one year on from the Brexit vote, Ministers still had no plan for protecting British regional food producers. ‘We are now staring down the barrel of a Brexit that gives much-loved foods from cheddar cheese to pork pies no protection at all from cheap imitations,’ he said.
‘Michael Gove needs to stop briefing against his Cabinet colleagues and get on with the day job of fighting for our farmers and food producers.’
That's the Great Repeal Bill that Chuka's party, Labour, is threatening to vote against. Sigh.
As to what should happen of course those designations should go. Trademarks are fine things and there's no problem with people applying for nor defending them. But to take one example, the Cornish pasty, that was granted this exalted status in 2011. Before then competition reigned supreme and there really is no one at all who is going to claim that the product has improved since those days.
In fact, it's the very survival of these iconic foods over the generations, their very claim to this heritage or protected status, which shows that competition and not protection works just fine. For why would they be iconic if they hadn't survived said competition? It's the very fact that they did win it that makes them iconic.