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UK satisfied EU won’t block food exports after Brexit

Freight lorries sit at the port of Calais in France on January 30, 2020 | Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images

UK satisfied EU won’t block food exports after Brexit

Resolution removes a significant source of bad blood in Brexit talks.

By

9/23/20, 9:55 PM CET

Updated 9/24/20, 10:29 AM CET

LONDON — The U.K. is no longer concerned that the EU could block food exports if trade talks fail, saying Wednesday night it has obtained reassurances from Brussels.

So-called third-country listing is vital because it confirms the U.K. has met the necessary animal health and biosecurity standards required to export live animals and animal products to the EU.

The eighth round of Brexit negotiations finished earlier this month with the U.K. blaming the EU for refusing to grant Britain third-country status — a charge denied by the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

But the Cabinet Office said Wednesday the EU has confirmed Britain would not be disadvantaged in the process to grant the necessary status.

“The EU has now said to us that normal processes will be followed on third-country listings. So there are no obstacles to listing our food and agricultural products as our food standards rules will be exactly the same as the EU’s,” a spokesperson said.

The resolution removes a significant source of bad blood in Brexit talks, though several sticking points remain.

The row over third-country listings had escalated rapidly in recent weeks with the U.K. accusing the EU of threatening its integrity because not securing the status would prevent Great Britain from moving food to Northern Ireland.

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