Sausage war ceasefire imminent but UK must not engage in 'negative rhetoric', EU warns

Maros Sefcovic (left), with David Frost, in London during June talks about the Northern Ireland Protocol. - WPA Pool/Getty Images EuropeAccording to a vice-president of the European Commission, members of the Northern Ireland Assembly heard Monday that a ceasefire in the UK/EU sausage war should be announced in Brussels within 48 hours. This prevents a ban on British bangers entering the country.Maros Sefcovic warned Britain to stop using negative rhetoric about the Northern Ireland Protocol. He said it had irresponsibly stoked tensions.He said, in a virtual appearance to MLAs, "We have been gravely worried about negative rhetoric regarding the protocol, which after all is an instrument to preserve peace and stability."Protocol prevents an Irish hard border by keeping Ireland in EUs customs territory. It also introduces checks on British goods entering Northern Ireland to make sure they comply with bloc standards.Mr Sefcovic stated that a UK request for three months extension of a grace period for chilled meat preparations like sausages would be granted. If it wasn't, British bangers wouldn't be allowed to sell in Northern Ireland shops as they are in the EU since July 1.Brussels had previously warned that it would resort to tariffs if the UK attempted to extend unilaterally the grace period so the sausages could be sold.Brussels claims that the Government unilaterally extended grace periods to parcels and supermarket supplies.Mr Sefcovic stated: "It is good that the UK pursues a different avenue in chilled meat."He said that he remains confident that we will find a solution in the next 48 hours that will address both parties' needs and concerns.Mr Sefcovic stated that the UK should join the EU in animal health and food safety rules, to reduce the number of checkpoints at the Irish Sea border. Any alignment based on sovereignty grounds has been rejected by the Government.After hearing that the protocol was creating a divide between Northern Ireland's and the rest the UK, he told DUP MLAs the EU was willing to be their friend. The Protocol will be up for vote in 2024.