UK Brexit Minister Lord Frost is having talks with his EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic. However, the tension regarding the post-Brexit trading rules is still going on. Lord Frost is urging for compromise to avoid the ban on the export of sausages and meat from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. The UK is saying that it is ready to ignore the ban if the EU is not showing flexibility. The EU is threatening to take legal actions and tariffs if the UK takes that step.
Great Britain is no longer following the EU rules. But Northern Ireland is following, as it shares the land border with the Republic of Ireland and the EU.
EU food safety rules are not allowing chilled meat products to enter its markets from non-members like the UK. In January, two of the sides agreed to a six-month grace period allowing the companies to set up alternative supply chains. However, it runs out at the end of June.
The UK is already holding back from carrying out all the full checks from the supermarket parcels and goods. This was meant to be done under the terms of the Northern Ireland protocol.
This has prompted the EU to accuse the UK of undermining their protocol and beginning legal proceedings.
Ahead of the negotiations from this week, Mr. Sefcovic has warned the UK against taking any unilateral action. According to him, the EU “will not be shy in reacting swiftly, firmly and resolutely to ensure that the UK abides by its international law obligations”.
This could take the form of quotas or tariffs on British goods due to the terms of the Brexit deal for Northern Ireland. Mr.Sefcovic has denied the EU’s inflexibility. According to him, the EU has prepared itself to find creative solutions when it is required.
They were hoping for him and Lord Frost to find the solutions. Andrew Lynas owns a food service business in Ireland. They had to buy the cheese from the GB supplier, which was much simpler. But now they have to fill eight different types of paperwork and the delivery delays.
However, immediate solutions are important for the business and for decompressing the growing angst which is happening in Ireland.