Sausage wars: Post-Brexit trade grace period extended again

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Post-Brexit checks on British goods entering Northern Ireland are to be delayed once again after London and Brussels struck a fresh agreement to avoid another impending “sausage war”. 

The grace period affecting red tape on products, such as chilled meats, moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland was due to expire at the end of the month, ushering in a slew of new checks on goods entering the province.

But sources have confirmed that the deadline for the new customs arrangements have been pushed back for a third time after terms were agreed between the Government and the European Commission.

According to one government source the extension to the grace period has been “pushed back quite far”.

“So the sausage wars are on hold,” the source added.

The deal is expected to be laid out by ministers in the next 24 hours and means a potentially damaging spat between the EU and Downing Street is avoided for a second time.

Relations between the UK and Brussels were plunged into the deep freeze earlier this year when ministers threatened to suspend the Northern Irish Protocol amid concerns over the way the Brexit deal was being implemented.

Brexit minister Lord Frost demanded the EU rethink its approach to the protocol, warning it was taking a too “purist” approach to the regulatory checks and paperwork on animal products under the agreement.
By Richard Vaughan /
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