Germany’s Merkel optimistic solution to EU-UK trade spat can be found

London, Jul 2 (EFE).- Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday said she was confident that a “pragmatic solution” could be found to the dispute between the European Union and the United Kingdom over the application of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Merkel made the remarks at a joint press conference with the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in what was her last visit to the country as chancellor, a post she has held since 2005 but which she will not contest in the September upcoming elections in Germany.

“It is, now that Britain has left the European Union, a good opportunity to open a new chapter in our relationship,” she said, adding that she was “optimistic” that solutions could be found to resolve the spat surrounding trade through Northern Ireland.

This spat led to what the UK press termed the “sausage wars.”

The protocol is an agreement in the Brexit withdrawal deal that Northern Ireland, a UK territory, would align with EU custom rules to stop unchecked good flooding into the single market via the soft Irish border.

Earlier this year, the UK government decided to unilaterally extend a grace period on those checks, meaning that products, including sausages, could enter the EU market regardless of whether they met EU standards or not.

Brussels and London agreed a temporary truce on the spat on Thursday.

Johnson told press on Friday that the issue could be solved with “goodwill and patience”

“Hopefully (…) when it comes to chilled meats the wurst is behind us,” he said. EFE


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