Brexit news – live: Threat of ‘sausage war’ draws closer, as minister demands EU ditch trade tariffs

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LIVE – Updated at 08:28

© AFP via Getty Images boris-johnson-sausage.jpg

The UK has called on the EU to abandon its threats of legal action and trade tariffs amid a row over the Northern Ireland protocol.

The latest dispute about post-Brexit trade concerns chilled meats transported from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Reports suggest London intends to extend the “grace period” for such products beyond June, meaning the imposition of checks will be delayed.

However, the EU has warned the UK that it will respond “swiftly, firmly and resolutely” to any unilateral action which breaches the protocol, with the European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic raising the prospect of a trade war.

With tensions rising, Brexit minister David Frost released a statement urging “pragmatism and common sense” from the EU.

“Further threats of legal action and trade retaliation from the EU won’t make life any easier for the shopper in Strabane who can’t buy their favourite product,” he added.

The two sides will meet in London on Wednesday morning to discuss the implementation of the protocol.

Key Points

  • EU should show ‘pragmatism and common sense’, says Frost
  • School catch-up funding too low, union suggests
  • EU being ‘unpragmatic’, minister claims

EU being ‘unpragmatic’, minister claims

08:25 , Rory Sullivan

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick has reiterated the government’s view that the EU should show “common sense” over the Northern Ireland protocol.

Speaking to Sky News, the minister said: “I don’t think either side when we signed up to the protocol envisaged that the EU would interpret it in such a rigid and unpragmatic way.

“We’re asking them to show some common sense and enable something as simple as some chilled meats like a sausage to travel from GB to Northern Ireland.”

He added that “there are also things even more important than sausages at stake here, for example medicines”.

School catch-up funding too low, union suggests

08:10 , Rory Sullivan

The government is not doing enough to help children and young people, a teaching union has said.

The union NAHT pointed to analysis by a think tank which showed that catch-up money for schools over the next academic year is “only slightly more” than the amount spent on one month of last year’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

The Education Policy Institute (EPI) found a total of £984m has been committed to catch-up for the next academic year, while £840m was spent last summer on promoting the hospitality sector.

Paul Whiteman, NAHT’s general secretary, said: “Of course, support for business is important, but it shows how far down the government’s list of priorities children and young people seem to place.”

Zoe Tidman reports:

© Provided by The Independent

Schools’ catch-up money for entire year ‘slightly more than one month of Eat Out to Help Out’

EU should show ‘pragmatism and common sense’, says Frost

07:52 , Rory Sullivan

Representatives from the UK and the EU will meet in London on Wednesday morning to discuss the post-Brexit trade situation in Northern Ireland.

This comes amid rising tensions between the two sides over the implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol.

Reports suggest that London wishes to delay checks on chilled meat products being transported from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. The EU has said it will “not be shy” to respond “swiftly, firmly and resolutely” to such a moving, suggesting the possibility of trade tariffs against the UK.

Ahead of the meeting, Brexit minister David Frost said such threats did not help Northern Ireland.

He added: “Further threats of legal action and trade retaliation from the EU won’t make life any easier for the shopper in Strabane who can’t buy their favourite product.

“What is needed is pragmatism and common sense solutions to resolve the issues as they are before us. This work is important. And it is ever more urgent.”

07:44 , Rory Sullivan

Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s rolling UK politics coverage.

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