Brussels calls for a temporary truce in the Brexit “sausage war”
Brussels and the UK reach a temporary ceasefire agreement on thorny issues Meat transportation Entered Northern Ireland from the UK, but warned that it would not provide a “blank check” for the suspension of the Irish Sea inspection after Brexit.
After a long quarrel between the UK and the EU-known as “Sausage War” — The European Commission on Wednesday approved an extension of the grace period for restricting frozen meat exports from the UK to the region by three months.
However, EU Brexit Commissioner Maros Sefcovic said that the extension should be used “to find a lasting solution in the most effective way”.
“Continuous rollover [of grace periods] It does not provide predictability for businesses in Northern Ireland,” Sefcovic added.
The battle for chilled meat has become a symbol of a broader struggle between Brussels and London on how to implement “Chilled Meat”. Northern Ireland Agreement -Part of the 2019 Brexit Treaty, which guarantees Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.
The agreement avoids restoring the north-south trade border in Ireland, but introduces new inspections of goods from the UK to Northern Ireland to ensure that they do not just pass through the region and enter the EU single market.
Although British officials said the mood between the two sides has improved, Boris Johnson told MPs on Wednesday that Brussels has the responsibility to make further concessions in the coming months to reduce border checks on the UK-Northern Ireland trade.
Johnson stated that the EU needs to resolve its interpretation of the agreement and its relationship with the “facts of prohibiting refrigerated meat, restricting the circulation of anti-cancer drugs, and 20% of all customs inspections throughout the process”. The EU conducts in Northern Ireland”.
The United Kingdom rejected the “Swiss-style” agreement proposed by the European Union to reflect EU rules on plant and veterinary products. Brussels said that the agreement would eliminate 80% of the inspection of goods that cross the Irish Sea.
The six-month grace period for frozen meat was first introduced in December last year-just before the UK left the EU single market and customs union-to help companies switch to a new Brexit arrangement and will expire on Wednesday.
Lord David Frost, the Secretary of the Brexit Cabinet, welcomed the “reasonable extension”, whose terms “do not require the rules of other parts of the UK to be consistent with the future changes in the EU agri-food rules.”
“This is a positive first step, but we still need to agree on a permanent solution. The chilled meat issue is just one of the many issues with the current mode of operation of the agreement, and a solution needs to be found with the EU,” Frost said.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney (Simon Coveney) said that he is “fully confident” to find a solution.
However, Odan Connolly, the head of the Northern Ireland Retail Union, said that although the agreement is welcome news, “from the perspective of trade terms, this is a peripheral issue.”
“The most pressing issue is the fate of the thousands of foods that are transferred from GB to NI every day, when these foods will be under widespread control [new] The grace period ends in October. We are not close to both parties making a decision on this. “
Shane Brennan, chief executive of the Cold Chain Alliance, said that nothing in the statements of the two parties indicated “real progress.”
Brussels expressed disappointment in its claims that the United Kingdom was unwilling to fully implement the agreement and asked the British government to honor its commitment to set up border posts in Northern Ireland ports and allow the European Union access to IT systems that track goods entering the European Union. area.
As a further sign of improving relations, the committee also confirmed on Wednesday that it will introduce legislation later this year to help ease the supply of generic drugs from the United Kingdom to Northern Ireland after the interruption in the supply of medical supplies.
Brussels will also take measures to allow guide dogs to be transported from the UK to Northern Ireland and relax regulations so that British motorists do not need to present an insurance green card when entering the European Union. “We have developed practical solutions to promote the daily lives of citizens of Northern Ireland,” Sefcovic said. “I hope our creativity and goodwill will be reflected in the UK that can do this.”
In addition, on Wednesday, the Belfast High Court rejected the legal challenge of the agreement by senior union members, declaring that although the trading rules conflict with the 1800 Union Act, these rules are legal because they were introduced by parliamentary bills. , The bill overrides previous legislation.
The Ulster Unity Party, the second largest trade union party in Northern Ireland’s decentralized parliament, said it would appeal the ruling.