It wasn't about the sausage yet: French President Macron welcomes Prime Minister Johnson at the G7 summit
Photo: PHIL NOBLE / AFP
Even half a year after it was finally implemented, Brexit is still causing a dispute between the British and Europeans.
In particular, the construct that both sides had agreed on to prevent the establishment of a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which belongs to the United Kingdom, repeatedly causes conflict.
Currently in focus: sausages.
Because Brussels wants to prevent British products from entering the common internal market via Northern Ireland without controls, the EU has wrested the establishment of a customs border in the Irish Sea from Great Britain.
But that is now creating problems in trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
No longer part of the same national territory?
The problem: At the end of June, a transition period expires after which British companies are no longer allowed to deliver certain meat products to the EU.
And that also means: British sausages are no longer allowed to cross the customs border into Northern Ireland.
This dispute has already boiled over the past few weeks.
Negotiators from the EU and Great Britain tried to find a solution during the week so that the heads of state and government would not have to talk about sausages at the G7 meeting.
However, that did not work: On Sunday, the British side vented their displeasure with statements by French President Emmanuel Macron in a conversation with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the sidelines of the summit.
The meeting between the two was about physical checks in Northern Ireland.
Johnson asked Macron how he would feel if sausages from Toulouse could no longer be sold in Paris, according to reports from the Elysée Palace.
The French President reacted "astonished".
He told him that Toulouse and Paris were "part of the same national territory".
This does not apply to Northern Ireland, as the province is separated from Great Britain by the Irish Sea.
The geographical conditions are therefore completely different, said Macron according to the information.
Who is right?
This caused trouble at Johnson, reported the Sunday Times. "Northern Ireland and Great Britain are part of the same country," he replied in an interview with Macron. British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab on Sunday demanded more "respect" from the EU for the territorial integrity of his country. High-ranking EU politicians would talk about Northern Ireland as if it were a country outside the UK, Raab criticized. "Imagine what would happen if we named Catalonia, Flanders in Belgium, a federal state in Germany, northern Italy or Corsica in France as separate countries?" He added.
The EU leaders called on the government in London on Saturday on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Carbis Bay to adhere to the Northern Ireland protocol agreed after Brexit.
Macron also appealed to the British Prime Minister to keep his word.
Johnson, for his part, asked the Europeans to compromise.
beb / afp