Currently, imports of chilled meats from the UK are exempt from customs controls until early July. However, UK ministers are considering extending the grace period for chilled meats to ensure uninterrupted deliveries of sausage and ground meat to stores in Northern Ireland, according to the Daily Telegraph. The UK government previously unilaterally extended the grace periods for supermarket goods and packages, infuriating Brussels.
As a result, the EU has taken legal action against the UK for violating the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Ahead of talks with Lord Frost on Wednesday, Maros Sefcovic warned the UK that any further breach of protocol would lead to a harsh response from Brussels.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the EU Brexit Commissioner said: ‘If the UK takes further unilateral steps in the coming weeks, the EU will not hesitate to respond quickly, firmly and decisively to ensure that the UK United respects its obligations under international law. “
He argued that the protocol was the “best solution” to the “type of Brexit the current UK government has chosen”.
EU officials have continuously singled out the UK for problems arising from the protocol.
They accuse Britain of failing to implement its provisions and of showing an uncompromising and inflexible stance towards resolving the outstanding issues.
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“You look at the current situation in Northern Ireland, especially with the political calendar in Northern Ireland, the marching season is approaching.
“Now is not exactly the right time to suddenly arrive – in early July – and people cannot stock up on chilled meat in Britain.
“Our goal at the moment is to get something through the joint process, but the Prime Minister and Lord Frost have made it clear that we are keeping all options under consideration.”