A deal to avoid a ban on sausages and other chilled meats moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland has been agreed at the last minute.

The UK and EU have announced an extension to a grace period allowing their transit across the Irish Sea, hours before a ban would have come into force.

London had at one stage threatened to unilaterally extend the grace period, a move which would have triggered retaliation from Brussels in a row that has become known as the “sausage war”.

Brexit minister Lord Frost said the move was a “positive first step” but a “permanent solution” was needed.

“Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom and its consumers should be able to enjoy products they have bought from Great Britain for years,” he said in a statement.

“This is a very clear sign that the Protocol has to be operated in a pragmatic and proportionate way.

“The chilled meats issue is only one of a very large number of problems with the way the Protocol is currently operating, and solutions need to be found with the EU to ensure it delivers on its original aims: to protect the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, safeguard Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom, and protect the EU’s single market for goods.

“We look to work energetically with the EU to do so.”

Politics

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