U.K. to Extend Brexit Grace Period on Northern Ireland Meat Checks
(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. extended post-Brexit grace periods for trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as it continues discussions with the European Union to defuse one of the most contentious issues of their divorce.
At the end of September, chilled meats and fresh sausages were due to face a ban from going into Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K., while food products faced extra customs inspections.
These deadlines have been deferred, Brexit minster David Frost said in a written statement on Monday. “The government will continue to operate the protocol on the current basis.”
The U.K. and EU are locked in discussions to try and resolve the issue, with Johnson’s government calling on the EU to rewrite a part of the Brexit deal that effectively keeps Northern Ireland in the bloc’s customs area and much of the single market.
It also means that cargo coming from mainland Britain needs to be checked before or on entry to ensure it meets EU standards. Frost’s statement, however, didn’t indicate the length of the extension of the grace periods.
Prior to the announcement, two people familiar with the matter said that the bloc wouldn’t start infringement proceedings, effectively nodding it through to allow talks to continue. European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic and U.K. Brexit Minister David Frost will hold a call later this week.
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