The reason the Brits aren’t bidding is because of the huge increases, adding 50% or more to the cost of goods, which are being imposed by carriers for excise duty, import VAT and ‘clearance fees’ (whatever they may be).
So the Brits are locked out of the Continental wine markets and the prices are down by a third or more – and the chance of a lifetime to stock the cellars looked like being wasted.
Greaser Grimes has come to the rescue. A lot of this stuff is coming from the negociants of Belgium and Holland and Greaser has agreed terms with a couple of local carriers to provide the means of transportation – i.e. twice-a-week runs from Groningen and Ghent to the old smugglers’ caves at Joss Bay on the Kent coast using our Grimsby trawlers to bring the stuff in.
From the caves we can dribble out the haul to chaps who like good plonk at good prices – there are plenty of those – and it tastes better when it’s avoided the clutches of the Revenue.
In the event of any unpleasantness in the Channel my Cabinet colleague the Defence Secretary will make sure that any of our trawlers getting harassed by nosey Frogs will get a robust response from the Royal Navy.
Of course my holdings in Greaser’s operations are tucked away in a blind trust during my Ministerial tenure, but my trustees tell me that initial inflows from Grimes Maritime Ventures are boosting the valuation agreeably.