OFFICIALS wearing high-vis vests have confiscated ham sandwiches from British drivers arriving by ferry from the UK.

Dutch TV yesterday aired footage of customs officers explaining to drivers at the Hook of Holland ferry terminal that personal imports of meat and dairy products were banned under the Brexit deal.

One official told a driver: “You are no longer allowed to bring certain foods to Europe, like meat, fruit, vegetables, fish, that kind of stuff.”

Another driver with a package of sandwiches wrapped in foil, who asked if he could keep the bread and dump the meat, was told: “No, everything will be confiscated. Welcome to Brexit, sir.”

It came as MEPs on the European Parliament’s committee on international trade began to examine the last minute UK-EU deal that was thrashed out on Christmas Eve.

Rapporteur Christophe Hansen said the anything other than the deal reached “under the Christmas tree would have been a disaster for our citizens and our business”.

He added: “I regret there has not been time to have a proper agreement and ratification before the end of the year … this is part of the strategy by the United Kingdom to keep things to the very last moment to get maybe some concessions and to not have their own parliament given a proper say on it.”

Hansen welcomed the fact there were no tariffs and no quotas but he would have liked a “somewhat broader scope” on financial services, which were not covered in the agreement but he hoped could be included in the memorandum of understanding that has still to be negotiated my March.

Dublin MEP Barry Andrews said most of the problems that had come up in Ireland in the past few days had related to rules of origin with products travelling through the UK and were causing “quite a problem”.

He said: “The UK is a distribution hub for Ireland for many multiples and supermarkets and many other products and all these products are effectively becoming ‘stateless’ … that’s something I don’t expect an answer on today but we will be pursuing over the course of the scrutinization of the agreement.”

Kathleen van Brempt, a Belgian MEP, welcomed the agreement, although she regretted its “last-minute nature” which had led to uncertainty amongst citizens and businesses.

She added: “So it is important that we scrutinise this deal very thoroughly – we’re not the UK Parliament we’re the European Parliament. It’s not just about rubber-stamping it’s about going into the details.”