United Kingdom

Brussels may allow Britain more time in sausage wars

Brussels last night promised to consider a request from the UK to allow sausage sales to continue in Northern Ireland for another three months.

In a potential breakthrough in the 'sausage wars' row, the EU said it would assess the UK's call to extend a grace period on chilled meat sales until the end of September.

Under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol, British-made sausages and similar foods will be banned from being sold in the province at the end of this month.

In a potential breakthrough in the 'sausage wars' row, the EU said it would assess the UK's call to extend a grace period on chilled meat sales until the end of September

Britain has threatened to unilaterally extend the current grace period if a solution is not found, but Brussels has warned it would retaliate.

In a statement, the EU Commission said it was open to a solution on extending the grace period to September 30. 

A No 10 spokesman said the extension would 'allow movements to continue while we seek to find a longer term solution with the EU'.

It came as the US also agreed to drop a 25 per cent tax on single malt Scotch whisky for five years following Brexit. 

Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic  (pictured) will seek to arrange talks with Brexit minister Lord Frost

The EU Commission statement read: 'The Commission will now assess this request.

'The Commission has already indicated its openness to finding solutions in line with the Protocol.

'However, for that to happen, the UK must fully implement the Protocol, which is the solution found to protect the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement, the functioning of the all-island economy, and the integrity of the EU's Single Market. 

'There is no alternative to the Protocol.

'When looking for solutions, providing stability and predictability for the people of Northern Ireland will be of paramount importance.'

Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic will seek to arrange talks with Brexit minister Lord Frost and his team to discuss the request, the statement added.

A Government spokesman said: 'There is no case whatsoever for preventing chilled meats from being sold in Northern Ireland - any ban would be contrary to the aims of the Protocol and the interests of the people of Northern Ireland.'

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