We are at a crossroads in relationship with UK — EU's Šefčovič

We are at a crossroads in relationship with UK — EU's Šefčovič

We are at a crossroads in relationship with UK — EU's Šefčovič

"I took the opportunity at the meeting to address head-on with the EU Commission and indeed with David Frost that the Protocol has afforded opportunity, it does afford protection to the local business community here but it certainly affords opportunity in that we have access to both the British market and the EU market", she added. He added: 'No one knows it better than Lord Frost himself, then the UK's chief Brexit negotiator'.

The Telegraph said the threat raised the spectre of a "sausage trade war" if Northern Irish shops were banned from selling British meat produce.

Following three-and-a-half hours of discussions at Admiralty House, Lord Frost accused Brussels of adopting an "extremely purist" approach to the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol in the Withdrawal Agreement signed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. "What we need now is the political will on both sides to see them delivered".

The EU says any grace period allowed while the post-Brexit system bedded in is now over, and it's time to stick to the rules of the Brexit deal.

The UK has taken forward our work to operate the Protocol since the beginning of the year, alongside huge efforts from the Northern Ireland Executive, unprecedented cooperation across a range of departments and agencies, and intensive work with businesses.

Earlier this year Britain extended the grace periods on supermarket goods and parcels. The EU has threatened legal action over that decision.

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We are at a crossroads in relationship with UK — EU's Šefčovič

Britain is now trying to avoid a trade war with exports of sausages and other chilled meats from Great Britain to Northern Ireland set to be effectively be banned at the end of the month.

Maros Sefcovic, the commission vice president, called on the British government to respect "its worldwide law obligations", saying Brussels would "not be shy" to respond to any unilateral action from London.

"Our patience is wearing really, really thin, so we need to assess all options at our disposal", including legal action and cross-retaliation actions such as suspension of participation in European Union programs or tariffs, Šefčovič said, adding the protocol was the only way to protect the Good Friday Belfast Agreement "in all its parts". Sefcovic described the so-called Northern Ireland protocol as an opportunity that will give the region access to more than 500 million customers in both the United Kingdom and European Union.

"I suspect it links to some kind of perception that they can't really trust any country other than an European Union country to make sausages", he told LBC.

When I meet Maroš Šefčovič later today my message will be clear: time is short and practical solutions are needed now to make the Protocol work.

"Of course, as you would understand, the fact that I mentioned that we are at a crossroads means that our patience really is wearing very, very thin, and therefore we have to assess all options we have at our disposal", he said."I was talking about the legal action, I was talking about arbitration, and of course I'm talking about the cross-retaliation".

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