The European Commission announced Thursday that it would examine London's request for a postponement of rules preventing the shipment of chilled meat to Northern Ireland, a source of tension between the former partners.
To read also: Brexit: the "war of the sausage" throws a cold between London and the Europeans
The Commission said in a press release that it received on Thursday the British request for a postponement to September 30 of this measure which was to come into force at the beginning of July.
"will assess this request"
"its readiness to find solutions to implement solutions in accordance with the Northern Irish protocol"
, concluded within the framework of the Brexit treaty.
Tensions between London and the European Union over the implementation of this protocol cast a shadow last week on the G7 summit in a series of talks.
They had given rise in particular to a difficult exchange on the consequences of Brexit between Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson.
The subject of English sausages and those of Toulouse had been mentioned there.
Effective since January 1, the Northern Irish protocol, negotiated as part of the Brexit agreement, de facto maintains the British province of Northern Ireland in the single market and the European customs union for goods, by providing for customs controls on goods arriving in Northern Ireland from Great Britain.
Introduction of a border in the Irish Sea
The aim is to prevent checks from taking place between the province and the Republic of Ireland, and thus prevent the reestablishment of a hard border which could jeopardize peace in Northern Ireland, after three decades of bloody violence. But these measures disrupt trade and anger the Unionists, who denounce the de facto introduction of a border in the Irish Sea, within the United Kingdom.
For lack of compromise, London had raised the threat of overriding certain measures of the protocol. Paris had warned on Wednesday that such an abandonment would create
"a huge problem"
. Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic will contact UK Minister David Frost for a meeting
"as soon as possible to discuss the request"
from London, the statement said.