Brexit latest: What is happening with Brexit after UK and EU agree to grace period?

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The Brexit referendum was held in 2016 and the UK officially left the European Union on January 31, 2020. But still, bitter negotiations are ongoing between the two sides. New infrastructures, legislation and guidance must be agreed between each entity to determine how each will live, work and trade together. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to explain what exactly is happening with Brexit after a landmark grace period in the ongoing “sausage war” was agreed today.

The UK and EU have agreed a deal to avoid a ban on sausages and other chilled meats moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

A ceasefire in the so-called sausage war between British and European lawmakers.

The EU formally agreed to postpone a ban on some British meat products being sold in Northern Ireland on Wednesday.

The proposed ban would impact items such as fresh sausages and was a consequence of the Northern Ireland protocol – when a deal was struck between the UK and EU in 2019.

The Northern Ireland protocol is part of the Brexit deal agreed between the two blocs.

The Brexit deal created a trade border in the Irish Sea to prevent a hardening of the Irish land border.

The protocol enables Northern Ireland to remain in the EU single market for goods and means EU customs rules are enforced at its ports.

It was agreed in October 2019 and was subject to further negotiation and agreement in 2020.

The temporary extension in the grace period for chilled meats will now continue until September 30.

The three-month truce in the sausage wars will enable these goods to continue to pass freely between Britain and Northern Ireland.

Brexit Minister Lord David Frost said the resolution was a “sensible extension” as it “does not require rules in the rest of the UK to align with future changes in EU agri-food rules”.

He added: “This is a positive first step but we still need to agree a permanent solution – 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.

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

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The 11th-hour extension was agreed despite tensions escalating after the UK Government threatened to unilaterally extend the grace period.

The move would have triggered retaliatory action from the EU in the sausage war.

Downing Street said: “The arrangements for the extension are largely the same as those agreed in December.”

It said “businesses will be given time and support to put the arrangements in place”.

The grace period was announced after the High Court in Belfast dismissed a legal challenge to the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol.

Mr Justice Colton refused a judicial review saying although it conflicted with the 18000 Acts of Union, the modern legislation effectively overrode it.

A group of unionist politicians had challenged the protocol, but the High Court judge rejected the challenge on all grounds.

Mr Colton said “much constitutional water has passed under the bridge since then”, adding the “clear political will of parliament”.

Earlier this week, the UK secured a data flows agreement with the EU worth billions in annual trade.

The agreement, which was finalised in Brussels on Monday, will enable Europeans’ personal data to continue to flow to the UK unimpeded.

The deal will prevent a situation which could have cost the UK economy as much as £1.6 bn.

However, Britain is considering diverging from this deal, if it might lead to a boost in its digital economy – a move which could put the deal at risk.

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