UK urges EU to extend grace period to 2023 to soften Brexit impact

Britain has asked the EU for a grace period extension until 2023 on checks made on trade moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has written to the European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic to ask for urgent political solutions on a number of issues at the border.

Gove called for “political solutions” to ensure the smooth transport of chilled food, mail and medicines between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

It comes after Gove said yesterday, 3 February, that the issues at the border were not just “teething problems”.

As part of the Brexit divorce deal, the two sides agreed to a three-month grace period on checks on food goods being moved by supermarkets and wholesales groups from Britain to Northern Ireland.

The move was put in place to ease the effects of post-Brexit rules and an extension would aim to soften further impact on Northern Ireland.

Gove wrote to Sefcovic to call for the grace period to be extended until 2023 and demanded that “eligibility for these arrangements must also be adapted so that all relevant local businesses and services are able to be included as authorised traders”.

The Cabinet Office Minister also called for a solution to the current ban on chilled meats exports from the UK to the EU.

“A permanent solution should be put in place for those chilled products moving GB-NI that are otherwise prohibited,” Gove said.

“If this in practice requires further time and engagement, then a temporary solution must be in place until at least 1 January 2023.”

Source: City AM