Covid and Brexit undermine Christmas markets


Anja Manke runs 23 stores in Manchester

The traditional Christmas markets that fill the city and town squares in the UK will be smaller and smaller in Europe this year.

The Covid epidemic has meant that 10,000 full-time professionals have resigned.

And Brexit has made exporting goods to Britain even more difficult.

Anja Manke runs a 23-story German Christmas market stall in St Ann’s Square in Manchester.

He has been traveling between Bremen and England for more than two decades and is considered to be his second home.

But this year it was different. It has taken weeks to arrange the transportation and each goods and person concerned permits required.

“We often came to work because we were citizens of a certain country,” says Anja. “At first, it was a lot of writing.”

As a result, he decided hard not to bring in the deer’s head which is often on top of German beer and has made some changes, including the use of an English company to import German beer.

Overall, a handful of Europeans owning a mall will live in Manchester this year. “It’s been very painful,” Anja said. He thinks many did not return to business because they had the money saved by the epidemic, and the rise in Covid prices in Europe has caused traders to panic.

Anja’s business was registered in England, so he had to repay the loan.

And in preparation for this Christmas. worked with European counterparts to share information and streamline the process. He said: “Now we feel like relatives.

The BBC has contacted 12 city councils regarding their annual Christmas markets. Only Leeds closed its market and Coventry had switched with them to establish a light as part of their year as the Capital of Culture.

The two major ones, Manchester and Birmingham, have now opened, as well as those in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bournemouth, Oxford, York, Bristol, Nottingham, Newcastle and Exeter. But almost all of them have fewer areas and restrictions on the descent.

Allan HartwellAllan Hartwell

Allan Hartwell says it is difficult to find English and Scottish traders in his Northern Ireland market because of the Brexit red tape.

But it is a different story in Belfast. Its role across the Irish border, the sharing of EU and Republic borders, means that transport and trade have remained straightforward.

“For European traders it has become easier to come to Northern Ireland,” said Allan Hartwell, who runs Market Place Europe, through four UK cities.

“Bureaucracy comes [in] to find English and Scottish traders here. “In England and Scotland, Allan has seen his full-time European business leave.

Markus KochemMarkus Kochem

It took Markus Kochem 10 weeks to get his notes.

One is Markus Kochem – who calls himself “Mr Riesling” because of his favorite glühwein at festivals from the Moselle Valley.

It took him 10 weeks to fix his notes and then the lack of drivers and pallets in Germany gave him some problems.

As a result, Markus left markets in Scotland and chose only Northern Ireland. “Because this is the back and it’s easy to go to people,” he said. “But I’m glad to be here, I missed it.”

As if that were not enough, on top of Brexit there are some restrictions.

“We have three key components at Covid in England, Scotland and Wales. It’s been awesome,” says Allan.

They see the whole system as being set up for big business, and they do not support small independent independents.

Brexit, Covid and the loss of 10,000 regular, professional traders have destroyed large markets, which move day and night.

But it is good news for some of the smaller events that feature stallholders.

Kelsey ThompsonKelsey Thompson

Kelsey Thompson runs the evening market at Henigan’s Bar outside Bolton.

Kelsey Thompson runs the Henigan Bar outside Bolton. He decided to buy an evening market at a thrift store in order to boost the downturn on quiet days.

“We’re having a Christmas party with all the staff to get ready,” he says.

Kelsey is frustrated with the number of locals who have applied for a cage, meaning he can offer “all kinds of gifts from resin, candles, [to] unusual rings “.

Emma SimpsonEmma Simpson

Emma Simpson’s local parents think the small markets will be doing well this Christmas.

Emma Simpson’s local parents began to produce sweet gifts as fun.

“I signed up Monday two here in December plus two more at a local cricket club,” he says. “I’ve done a lot of ordering to place orders. My kitchen is full of boxes!”

Emma thinks the small markets will be doing well this Christmas. “A lot of people want to keep things in the area this year. It’s good for me and I enjoy it.”

For everyone to whom the BBC spoke – Anja, Allan, Markus, Kelsey and Emma – there is a common theme: love the Christmas season and the drive to make 2021 special.

They were all amazed and convinced by the amount of interest in their markets – big or small.



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