I have two dogs and a cat so I have some sympathy for those who may wish to take their pets abroad.
I do not, however, share Jonathan Arnott’s assessment of the EUs “petulant” requirement to renegotiate the Pet Travel Scheme as part of the Brexit process. (Northumberland Gazette, November 23).
It seems to me that Mr Arnott’s approach is to use the favoured pet of those who have not thought through their plans or achieved their goals – the scapegoat.
The UK’s 44-year membership of the EU has required thousands of agreements on all aspects of our relationship with our European partners. All of these agreements need to be renegotiated as part of the Brexit process. Why should the Pet Travel Scheme be an exception?
It is that word, ‘exception’, that runs through many Brexiteers’ attitudes to the negotiations. They see the UK as an exception to the rules and expectations of international relations. The UK is different and should be dealt with differently.
I do not agree with or accept that stance, and more importantly, neither do those with whom our Government is negotiating. This is why the Brexit negotiations are making such little progress; that and the approach of the UK’s negotiators.
The Eurosceptic wing of the Government has campaigned for Brexit for years. It has had plenty of time to develop plans and prepare for the necessary negotiations.
Any responsible government would have had plans in place before triggering Article 50. It did not do so and as a consequence is still not ready to negotiate in any meaningful way. The Government’s attitude appears to be a combination of arrogance, denial, wishful thinking and laziness.
Failure to agree with the EU 27 before March 2019 will result in many problems far greater than an inability to take pets abroad.
It is likely to make the UK’s sluggish economy worse, with the consequent implications for jobs, wages and foreign holidays – with or without pets.