Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

EU urges UK to accept Swiss-style deal to end agri-food standoff

CommoditiesJul 06, 2021 11:16AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: European Commissioner for Inter-institutional Relations and Foresight Maros Sefcovic speaks during a news conference on Brexit at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, June 30, 2021. Francisco Seco/Pool via REUTERS

By John Chalmers

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -The European Union urged London on Tuesday to consider a Swiss-style veterinary agreement with Brussels on agri-foods to end a post-Brexit 'sausage war' row over certain goods moving between Britain and its province of Northern Ireland.

Tension has mounted over trade arrangements for Northern Ireland, particularly for chilled meats, because the province's open border with EU member Ireland is Britain's only land frontier with the EU and its vast single market.

European Commissioner Maros Sefcovic, the EU executive's chief interlocutor with Britain since it completed its exit from the bloc last year, said the biggest challenge for Brussels was how to rebuild trust and realign its relationship with London.

"To build trust in each other requires first working together cooperatively and refraining from surprises," he said, referring to Britain's unilateral extension of grace periods for some food imports to Northern Ireland.

"In response, we were forced to launch an infringement procedure (legal action), and without satisfactory steps by the UK to remedy these measures we will have no choice but to step up these legal proceedings," he told a conference.

Trading arrangements for the province are governed by the Northern Ireland protocol, part of the Brexit divorce deal Britain agreed with the bloc.

It seeks to find a delicate balance between keeping open the border to protect the 1998 Good Friday peace deal that ended three decades of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland and stopping goods flowing unchecked into the EU.

The protocol effectively keeps Northern Ireland in a customs union with the EU while the rest of the United Kingdom is outside it, but this requires controls on goods arriving from mainland Britain. Disruptions to deliveries of some products have angered some pro-British unionists in Northern Ireland.

London says an important part of Brexit is not being bound to EU rules and has called on the EU to be less legalistic and more flexible in finding solutions to the standoff.

Britain's ambassador to the EU, Lindsay (NYSE:LNN) Appleby, told the conference that London sees "a very broad and very significant range of problems" stemming from the protocol that needs to be addressed while the EU sees only "a few very specific problems".

"It can't really be the case that prohibiting the movement of British sausages is necessary for the preservation of the single market," Appleby said. "The problems are much more severe than the kind of problems that the Commission is currently talking about solutions to."

Sefcovic said legal steps over the protocol were not the EU's preferred option and that an agreement last week to a three-month extension for free movement of chilled meats into the province signalled its willingness to find pragmatic solutions.

He said a longer-term solution to avoid Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks for agri-food products, ranging from live animals to fresh meat and plant products, could be along the lines of an agreement the EU has with Switzerland.

That pact removes nearly all physical SPS checks, though not documentary checks, and achieves this through a dynamic regulatory mechanism that creates a Common Veterinary Area.

"This could be negotiated very quickly and would address many concerns," Sefcovic said. "The UK continuing to apply EU SPS rules will do away with a vast majority of the checks in the Irish Sea and would not require checks elsewhere, say in Northern Ireland."

He said he was aware of the British government's concerns about such a solution, but added it was important "not to get too caught up" with concerns about alignment of rules and regulations between Britain and the EU.

EU urges UK to accept Swiss-style deal to end agri-food standoff
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email