BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union and the United Kingdom agreed Wednesday not to let a fight over the transport of chilled meats from Britain to Northern Ireland sputter out of control for the moment and further damage already fraught relations.
Instead, they delayed for three months some post-Brexit trade checks that were to go into effect on Thursday, including those on British sausages, giving London extra leeway to adapt to the commitments it made.
“We are pleased we have been able to agree a sensible extension on chilled meats moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland," British Cabinet Minister David Frost said.
Britain and the EU have been in a spat over post-Brexit trade arrangements for Northern Ireland, the only part of the U.K. that borders the 27-nation bloc, for months, with London arguing that the terms of planned checks between Britain and Northern Ireland aren't realistic.
The divorce deal agreed by both sides means customs and border checks must be conducted on some goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K. The regulations are intended to keep an open border on the island of Ireland, a key pillar of Northern Ireland’s peace process.