Brexit: Eustice attacks ‘nonsensical’ ban on selling sausages as row with EU over Northern Ireland protocol deepens – live
Latest updates: minister suggests US might side with UK over the Northern Ireland protocol if issue is brought up at this week’s G7 summit
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Good morning. In a long profile published yesterday, Boris Johnson was quoted as suggesting that politics is all about stories. “People live by narrative,” he told The Atlantic. “Human beings are creatures of the imagination.” And so, with tension with the EU over the implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol escalating (or non-implementation – the UK has unilaterally delayed implementing some of the rules it agreed), Johnson may be pleased that its version of the story references one of the great plot lines from the classic Whitehall comedy, Yes Minister.
What you have to bear in mind is that the Protocol always envisaged that both parties would show best endeavours to make the Northern Ireland Protocol work, and that included recognising that Northern Ireland was an integral part of the UK and that you should support the free flow of goods to Northern Ireland.
What we really need the EU to do is to respect that part of the Protocol and put in place sensible measures to remove things like the nonsensical ban on selling sausages or chicken nuggets to Northern Ireland – not just requiring paperwork, but actually having an outright ban on some of those goods – that clearly doesn’t make sense.
I suspect it links to some kind of perception that they can’t really trust any country other than an EU country to make sausages. 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.
There are lots of ways to give the European Union the assurance that they say they want for their single market, and what we should be doing is working together to identify ways forward. And that’s where the European Union have been quite slow to date to engage.
I suspect that any US administration would be amazed if you were to say, for instance, that a sausage from Texas couldn’t be sold to California, there would be an outright ban – they really wouldn’t understand how that could even be contemplated.