The UK and the European Union have reached an agreement to impose a truce in the so-called “sausage war”, a day before the deadline to ban the entry of chilled British meat into Northern Ireland.
After threats from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to unilaterally disregard the rules of the withdrawal agreement signed in Brexit – which could lead to a trade battle – the European Union has accepted a new three-month grace period for the situation is regularized.
More than a trade issue, the issue is political, as it concerns the delicate balance of peace in Northern Ireland, known as the Good Friday Agreement. Signed in 1998, it interrupted three decades of a conflict that left 3,700 dead, between unionists (Northern Irish, mostly Protestants who wish to remain in the United Kingdom) and separatists (mainly Catholics, who wish to join the Republic of Ireland).
The sticking point of the ‘sausage war’ is the Northern Ireland protocol, a commitment made in 2019, during the brexit negotiation, so that there is no ‘hard border’ – with inspection and customs – within the Irish island, between the North Ireland, which is British, and the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the European Union.
With the UK’s departure from the European bloc, its products can no longer freely enter the EU common market. They are now subject to the same controls that the bloc imposes on other exporters and must follow the same rules. To avoid this control within the Irish island, it would have to be done at the maritime border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
One of the rules of the European Union applies to so-called chilled meat — sausages but also nuggets, burgers and ground beef, among others — which, to enter the European common market, must first be frozen. In other words, Northern Ireland could no longer receive chilled-only British sausages, as in practice it remained in the EU common market.
The UK has however stated that there is not enough time to implement the maritime border inspection and that it cannot stop sending its products to one of its countries, due to the risk of shortage and damage.
According to European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, head of Brexit negotiations, the deadline for the UK to adapt to the rules was “flexible” until October 1. “It is not a blank check”, he declared, specifying that in this new grace period, the former partners will have to fulfill “clear obligations”.
One of these requirements is that EU food production rules and standards are met during these three months. To achieve this, the UK is simply not amending its current legislation, which is still in line with that of the European bloc, of which it was part until early this year.
In addition, the products will be “heavily guarded”: they will have to be under the control of the Northern Irish government, accompanied by official health certificates, precisely packaged and labeled and sold only in supermarkets in Northern Ireland.
Across the Channel, David Frost, the British minister negotiating brexit, said he was pleased to have “succeeded in reaching an agreement on a reasonable extension” for sausages and other meats, but called for “permanent solutions” for disagreements caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Despite signing the deal, Boris Johnson has taken several steps that threaten its terms, including a bill sent to the UK Parliament last year, the Internal Market Act, which had to be amended after being defeated. on several occasions by the House of Lords (equivalent to the Senate).
This month, as European countries and even the United States urged Boris to keep the commitments made and not jeopardize the Good Friday Peace, the British Prime Minister said he would do whatever it takes. necessary to “protect the territorial and economic integrity of our country. ”— ie not to be prevented from shipping British sausages to Northern Ireland.
Recent friction is also translating into a resurgence of tensions between Northern Irish people, which worries Northern Irish people, according to a survey conducted June 11-14 by Queen’s University in Belfast. For 68% of them, the disagreements caused by the Irish Protocol threaten political stability in Northern Ireland.
In April, discontent over Brexit sparked several nights of clashes, with hundreds of young people attacking police officers and setting cars on fire.
The survey also showed that public opinion is totally divided on the compromise established in the Brexit negotiation: 47% consider it to be suitable for their nation, while 47% oppose it. One of the main concerns is that the price of food and other products is becoming more expensive in the markets.
Amid dispute, website leaks royal family’s sausage recipe
Taking advantage of the constant presence of sausages in British and European news, the MyLondon.news site took the opportunity to learn how to prepare sausages that Queen Elizabeth II likes, according to chef Jeff Baker, who has already cooked for the family. royal in England. .
According to the cook, the ideal is to take the sausage out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before cooking, so that it cooks evenly, without cracking the skin.
When preparing, the non-stick pan should be placed over medium-low heat, with a teaspoon of duck or goose fat, to cover the bottom of the pan (excess should be removed).
Then place the sausages in the pan without letting them touch each other, keep the heat constant and turn them regularly so that they are golden (Baker recommends 10 to 12 minutes for a thick sausage).
Another secret: before serving, let them rest for a few minutes.