From the surreal to the ridiculous – the EU’s laws only get worse

Best-selling British beef barred from UK, while PM's attempt to woo Sinn Féin falls on deaf ears

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2022

Both the EU and Irish nationalists would rather people suffer than right a wrong

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Belfast yesterday and attempted to get the DUP and Sinn Féin to co-operate so they can reopen the Stormont assembly with a new joint Executive.

The attempt has failed because Sinn Féin will not support amending the Protocol and DUP stood on a platform in the recent elections of not forming an Executive unless the Protocol was replaced.

Facts4EU seeks to bring you up-to-date on what is really happening. Today we reveal the latest bizarre EU regulations the Protocol enforces. Last week it was fishing, this week it is the movement of cattle.

“These aren’t just any cattle, these are British Limousin cattle”

Limousin cattle from France - ironically - first arrived into Leith Docks, Edinburgh in 1971. From these humble beginnings, no other breed has been able to exert such an influence on the UK beef industry quite like the British Limousin.

Today British Limousin is the leading numerical beef breed with the highest market share, and its 2,800 members register some 18,000 pedigree calves each year.

Now that's a lot of 'rosbif'....

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

What is the latest Protocol regulation to make the news?

  • NI cattle from Britain's biggest beef breed are effectively barred by the EU from being exhibited in mainland GB
  • Arrangements for the 50th show for the British Limousin Cattle Society reveal a previously unknown Protocol rule
  • Limousin breeders from NI have had to abandon plans to show animals at the show due to highly expensive Protocol rules
  • EU rule makes the transporting of cattle for show or sale, and then returning to Northern Ireland completely uneconomic
  • The cost for quarantining will run into £1,000s per animal

Photo credit British Limousin Cattle Society - click to enlarge

And here are the rules for horses

  • Horses, unlike cattle, can be transported from Northern Ireland to the GB mainland and return the same or next day without any difficulty
  • No quarantining is required for horses – cattle are a different matter

Protocol regulations for moving cattle across the Irish Sea mean that although Northern Irish farmers can take their animals to England, Scotland and Wales to exhibit and sell – they cannot take them back home again until they have been quarantined in Britain for six months.

Harry Parker, Chairman of the British Limousin Cattle Society

Speaking about the thousands of Limousin cattle of his 500 or so members in Northern Ireland, Mr Parker said:

“They can come over, they can be sold, shown, but they cannot go back...

“There’s six months over here before they can actually go back to Northern Ireland. Whereas racehorses and that can go backwards and forwards in a day! It is bizarre and it’s putting our Northern Irish members at a disadvantage.”

“Normally a lot of Northern Irish animals come over to be shown at the big event, it’s very prestigious. And it just cannot happen this year. They are not going to bring their best show animals, their pride and joy, over to this side, to then have them held up here for six months before they go back.

“I find it appalling. We all do. It’s appalling. It is penalising our members in Northern Ireland.”

- Harry Parker, Chairman, British Limousin Cattle Society, at the Balmoral Show, 13 May 2022

NI Limousin breeders will miss out on their Society’s 50th anniversary show

The celebratory UK 50th anniversary show of Limousin breeders is due to take place from 28 - 31 July 2022 in Borderway Mart, Rosehill, Carlisle, North West England, to mark the half-century since the now-dominant breed arrived in the UK.

As a result of the EU’s laws which still govern Northern Ireland – despite Brexit – no NI breeder will be able to participate in this important event for the industry if they want to take their cattle home with them.

Photo right: British Limousin cattle show what they feel about the EU's laws being imposed on British soil...


How many more daft EU rules are there?

Last week Facts4EU revealed how Northern Ireland trawlers effectively become foreign boats as soon as they leave their port, making it complicated and expensive to land the fish they catch at their own home ports. It is easier to land the fish on the GB mainland and this puts at risk the Northern Irish fish processing industry.

Now we find out almost by chance, due to a special anniversary show for Limousin cattle owners happening this July, that simply showing any cattle on the UK mainland – not even trying to sell them into the EU/Republic of Ireland - requires them to be quarantined in Great Britain for six months before they can return to Northern Ireland.

Yet there are still people saying the Protocol is perfectly acceptable.

Grace periods are illegal but acceptable

There are many other problems with the Protocol, such as the issues of the importation of British sausages to Northern Ireland (the bangers to Bangor issue) and the movement of Guide Dogs for the blind. These, like the fishing problem, are only being overcome by the use of “Grace Periods”. Others, like the movement of cattle, do not escape enforcement.

The Grace Periods have no basis in law, but are generally being accepted as necessary to make the Protocol work. Invoking Article 16 – which does have a basis in law, as it is literally the sixteenth chapter of the Protocol – allows for the introduction of targeted temporary safeguard measures if the application of the Protocol leads to “serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist”, or to “diversion of trade”.

So why is Article 16 legal but unacceptable?

Yet we are at a place where the illegal Grace Periods are accepted as necessary but the legal Article 16 is seen as a nuclear option.

It is only because the EU and political parties such as Sinn Féin have weaponised Article 16 that this absurd and bizarre stand-off has developed.

If Sinn Féin is the democratic party it claims it is, it would recognise that amending the Protocol – making it workable – would protect the Ulster/Good Friday Agreement that it says is sacrosanct and meet the DUP’s conditions to put Stormont back in session. The fact that Sinn Féin will not agree to any changes shows that it is not interested in resolving issues but would rather the impasse continues. Sinn Féin prefers to feed off instability.

The UK Government has run out of road

The UK Government has produced a Command Paper and subsequently produced draft legal texts. It has repeatedly given the EU more time to propose its own changes, but without success.

How long does Boris Johnson need before he sees that he has tried to meet the EU, Sinn Féin and the Irish Government halfway and at every turn he has been rebuffed or ignored? The time to act unilaterally is now. Article 16 should be used and the EU exposed for the intransigent blackmailer and bully that it is.

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[ Sources: British Limousin Cattle Society | NI Limousin Cattle Club | The News Letter ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Tues 17 May 2022

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