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European Commission Vice President sees resolution to UK chilled meat issue this week

29 June 2021

The Commission’s Vice-President Maros Sefcovic said on 28 June said he was confident that agreement could be reached within the European Union in the coming 48 hours to avoid a ban on chilled meat product exports from Britain to Northern Ireland.

Reuters reports that Britain has asked the EU to allow a three-month extension to the current post-Brexit grace period waiving checks on British-made sausages and other chilled meats moving to Northern Ireland, which is due to end on 30 June.

"In the past few days I have been in intensive contact with the European Parliament and EU member states on this request," Sefcovic told lawmakers in Northern Ireland's regional parliament.

"And while I cannot today announce the EU's formal agreement to the UK government's request, through all the internal contacts I have had, I remain confident that we can find a solution in the next 48 hours to address both sides' needs and concerns," he said.

Under post-Brexit trade rules agreed last year, the British province of Northern Ireland is effectively treated as part of the EU for customs purposes under a protocol to avoid politically sensitive border checks with the Republic of Ireland.

Britain has not committed to follow EU food safety rules after Brexit, which according to the EU means chilled meat from mainland Britain should no longer be sold in Northern Ireland.

The ban on British-made sausages and other chilled meat products is due to take effect on 30 June, but Britain asked earlier this month for a delay until 30 September to find a better solution.

Read more about this story here.

Source: Reuters



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