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

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

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. The Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper, reported Tuesday that the United Kingdom may also extend the grace period covering chilled meats such as sausages and ground beef, which is scheduled to end at the end of this month.

Brexit minister David Frost will co-chair Wednesday's London meeting, which will cover issues including fishing, trade facilitation and law enforcement.

But it is sowing discontent in the province, particularly among unionists, who see port checks on British imports as a threat to Northern Ireland's status as part of the UK.

The Sinn Fein vice president said she made it clear that not everyone in Northern Ireland believes the Protocol should be scrapped.

"EU citizens must have legal certainty if they are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement with Britain".

Joe Biden's administration has warned against anything that would put the Northern Ireland peace process at risk, ahead of a meeting between Boris Johnson and U.S. president on Thursday.

Preserving the delicate peace in Northern Ireland without allowing the United Kingdom a back door into the European Union's markets through the 310-mile (500 km) Irish land border was one of the most hard issues of the Brexit divorce.

Ahead of the United States president's arrival in the UK on Thursday, for the G7 summit in Cornwall, George Eustice said he believed Mr Biden would take the view that the European Union was being overly "bureaucratic".

"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".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's former newspaper characterised the threat as a "sausage trade war".

Sefcovic said there had been "numerous and fundamental gaps" in Britain's implementation of the special arrangements.

He countered claims by Johnson's government that the bloc had failed to be sufficiently flexible, arguing in areas such as medicines it had allowed "tailor-made" solutions.

It is only by making substantial progress across the whole range of difficulties that we can show people in Northern Ireland that the Protocol can work in a pragmatic, proportionate and sustainable way - as was always intended.

Mr Eustice said he had "no idea" why the bloc imposed "idiosyncratic" rules.

Speaking at an European Union press conference in London, he said: "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".

'I think that's a nonsense. "I think we've got a very good sausage industry in this country, we've got the highest standards of food hygiene in the world".

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