UPDATE 4-EU and UK’s ‘sausage war’ sizzles at G7 as Macron and Johnson spar

* Brexit tensions increasing more than N.Ireland

* Dispute now centred on sausages

* Raab: Some in EU don’t realise N.Eire is portion of British isles

* French say dispute is a distraction from G7 enterprise (Updates with Macron remark)

By Michel Rose and Michael Holden

CARBIS BAY, England, June 13 (Reuters) – Escalating tensions between Britain and the European Union threatened to overshadow the Group of Seven summit’s summary on Sunday, with London accusing France of “offensive” remarks that Northern Eire was not component of the United Kingdom.

Ever since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in 2016, the two sides have been attempting to get the job done out how to offer with post-Brexit trade and the British province, which has a land border with EU member Ireland.

Finally, the talks preserve coming back to the fragile patchwork of background, nationalism, faith and geography that intertwine in Northern Ireland, but the most recent spat above the Brexit divorce offer is centred on sausages.

During talks with Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit, British Prime Minister Johnson queried how the French president would react if Toulouse sausages could not be marketed in Paris markets, echoing London’s accusation that the EU is preventing income of British chilled meats in Northern Eire.

British media reported that Macron responded by inaccurately indicating Northern Eire was not element of the United Kingdom, remarks British international minister Dominic Raab explained as “offensive”.

“Various EU figures right here in Carbis Bay, but frankly for months now and decades, have characterised Northern Eire as somehow a individual place and that is erroneous,” Raab stated.

“It is a failure to have an understanding of the info. We would not speak about Catalonia and Barcelona, or Corsica in France in those methods,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme.

TRADE WAR?

In a transfer that some be concerned could provoke a full-scale trade war, Johnson has threatened to invoke emergency measures in the Northern Ireland protocol of the Brexit divorce offer if no solution is uncovered to the so-named “sausage war”.

That protocol essentially retained the province in the EU’s customs union and adhering to many of the one market place rules, building a regulatory border in the Irish Sea among the British province and the relaxation of the United Kingdom.

But Johnson has by now delayed the implementation of some of its provisions, including checks on chilled meats going from the mainland to Northern Ireland, indicating it was causing disruption to some provides to the province.

A French diplomatic supply stated Macron experienced been taken aback by Johnson bringing up sausages – which the British chief experienced claimed was a crucial difficulty but 1 the French regarded as a distraction from the principal business enterprise at the G7 leaders’ collecting.

The president experienced basically been pointing out the sausage comparison was invalid owing to the geographic discrepancies, the resource claimed.

Repeatedly questioned at a information meeting about Macron’s opinions all through their talks, Johnson claimed Brexit experienced occupied a “vanishingly tiny proportion of our deliberations” for the duration of the summit in Carbis Bay, which finished on Sunday.

“We will do what ever it usually takes to shield the territorial integrity of the United kingdom but actually what took place at this summit was that there was a colossal amount of perform on topics that had unquestionably very little to do with Brexit,” he stated.

Macron advised reporters at the G7’s conclusion the two sides ought to quit squandering time on disputes about sausages.

“My want is that we thrive collectively in putting into action what we signed several months ago,” he explained. “Let us not waste time with controversies that are established in corridors and backrooms.”

He said France had by no means taken “the liberty to issue the sovereignty, the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom”.

Regardless of a U.S.-brokered 1998 peace offer that introduced an close to 3 a long time of violence, Northern Ireland continues to be deeply break up alongside sectarian traces: Numerous Catholic nationalists aspire to unification with Ireland although Protestant unionists want to stay in the Uk.

The EU does not want Northern Ireland to be a backdoor into its one market place and neither side desires border checks involving the province and the Republic of Ireland which could turn out to be a target for dissident militants.

As a substitute, the two sides agreed to the protocol, which provides for checks among the province and the relaxation of the United Kingdom, though Britain now claims these are far too cumbersome and divisive. Johnson explained on Saturday he would do “whichever it takes” to protect the UK’s territorial integrity.

“It is time for the govt to stop conversing about fixes to the protocol and get on with taking the essential steps to get rid of it,” said Edwin Poots, leader of Democratic Unionist Occasion, Northern Ireland’s greatest political occasion.

(Added reporting by Mathieu Rosemain in Paris Composing by Man Faulconbridge Modifying by Raissa Kasolowsky, Andrew Heavens and Frances Kerry)