Sausage wars – the worst brat of Brexit threatens supplies of chilled meats to Northern Ireland
Supplies of sausages, chilled meats, even chicken nuggets to Northern Ireland could be under threat when the extended Brexit grace period comes to an end – unless negotiators find a sensible solution on what’s been dubbed the ‘sausage wars.’
The post-Brexit-post-partum dispute with the European Union over sausage and chilled meat sales to Northern Ireland has been branded “bonkers” by some involved in the ongoing, painful protocol negotiations.
Tensions with Brussels over the Northern Ireland border threaten to spiral out of control as crunch talks take place on Wednesday 9th June, with the two sides at loggerheads over the implementation of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.
Time running out
The threat of “sausage wars” becomes real and imminent, as Brexit minister David Frost demanded flexibility from the EU and warned that ‘time is short.’ Frost called for “flexibility” from the EU” ahead of a ban on the export of chilled meat products from the British mainland.
While the UK government is ready to unilaterally extend the grace period for products like sausages, mince and chicken nuggets at the end of June, despite warnings from the EU this would trigger tariffs or quotas on British goods under the terms agreed.
European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic has warned the EU would act ‘swiftly and firmly’ if the UK tried to backtrack on its obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol in the Brexit agreement.
David Frost said time was running out to find practical solutions that were needed to enable the protocol to work as intended.
He said “Businesses in Great Britain are choosing not to sell their goods into Northern Ireland because of burdensome paperwork, medicine manufacturers are threatening to cut vital supplies, and chilled meats from British farmers destined for the Northern Ireland market are at risk of being banned entirely,” he said.
“Further threats of legal action and trade retaliation from the EU won’t make life any easier for the shopper in Strabane who can’t buy their favourite product. Nor will it benefit the small business in Ballymena struggling to source produce from their supplier in Birmingham.”