Europe’s chief Brexit negotiator is to receive a loaf of sourdough today (11 January) after a Darlington bakery found out there was no bread in a hamper of British goods delivered to the politician.

French MP Michel Barnier received a selection of food and drink from Brexit campaigners at a meeting yesterday (10 January).

However, The Great Northern Bakehouse, based on Morton Park, was “alarmed” to learn that bread was not among the selection of British produce, which included Marmite, PG Tips, Dorset cheese, Hendrick’s Gin and Fortnum & Mason piccalilli.

“It was a great to see a delegation of British MEPS giving Monsieur Barnier a taste of British products. We’ve got lots to be proud of in this country and we should be telling people about what we do and what we make,” said Mark Dexter, one of the bakery’s owners.

“But we were alarmed when British bread failed to make the shortlist. We think handmade artisan British breads are outstanding and we think Monsieur Barnier should know that too. That’s why we’re sending him one of our loaves.”

The sourdough in question picked up a bronze award in the Brook Food Sourdough round at the Tiptree World Bread Awards in October. The Great Northern Bakehouse, which has been trading for just over a year, supplies handmade bread and cakes to hotels, restaurants and cafés across the north east and North Yorkshire.

“We can count a Michelin-starred restaurant among out clientele, so we hope Monsieur Barnier recognises quality when he sees it,” added Dexter.

The bread will be delivered to the politician alongside a tongue-in-cheek letter (see below).