With the UK opposed to aligning to the EU’s animal and plant health rules, the European Commission’s proposals aim to do away with about 80 per cent of checks needed for meat and plants being shipped to Northern Ireland. Officials say their offer is bespoke and goes beyond anything on offer to non-EU members.
To end the so-called Brexit sausage war, EU and UK negotiators will draw up a list of food products that are deemed to be of significant national importance, such as Cumberland sausages, that will be excluded from existing embargoes currently imposed by the bloc.
One of the main proposals by Brussels is to drastically cut the amount of paperwork businesses must submit when sending food products to the province. Normally, firms would require a separate customs declaration for each different type of food, but now lorries, even carrying 100 different products, will only require one form.
The EU, however, refused to offer any concessions on the movement of pets, such as dogs, cats and ferrets, between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland. The Commission said the introduction of pet passports would only be possible if the UK agrees to dynamically align to the bloc’s animal and food safety rules.