Fresh British sausages will be banned from being exported to the EU when the post-Brexit transition period ends later this week.
EU rules mean that after December 31 so-called ‘chilled meat preparations’, a category which includes raw sausages, will be prohibited from entering the bloc.
Chilled minced meat – both red meat and poultry – will also be prohibited but it is thought frozen products will still be allowed.
However, British sausage-makers will still be able to send their fresh produce to Northern Ireland after the UK and Brussels agreed to special arrangements.
Boris Johnson is due to ask MPs to vote for his post-Brexit trade deal with the EU tomorrow
Official Government export guidance, last updated on December 28, makes clear that British raw sausages will no longer be allowed into the EU.
The guidance states: ‘EU rules mean you will not be able to export the following goods to the EU: chilled minced meat (red meat), chilled meat preparations (for example, raw sausages), minced meat (poultry), poultry and ratite or game bird mechanically separated meat, raw milk from TB herds, ungraded eggs, composite products containing dairy products made from unpasteurised milk (for example, a ready meal topped with unpasteurised cheese).’
The industry wanted the UK and the EU to strike an agreement to allow the export of such items to continue.
Nick Allen, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association, told the Mirror: ‘We had given up hope that they would get this particular issue resolved before January 1.
‘What we hope, and what one or two people have said to us, is that in the coming months we can negotiate an export health certificate so this stuff can go to the continent.
‘We are hopeful it’s not a ban forever and it will be solved.’
Mr Allen reportedly said the ‘vast majority’ of chilled meat exports from Britain go to Northern Ireland and not to the EU.
There had been fears that a British sausage ban would be imposed on Northern Ireland because it is due to stay closer to EU rules after Brexit.
But the UK and the EU were able to agree temporary arrangements which will allow such items to continue to be exported to Northern Ireland.
Those arrangements are due to last for an initial period of 6 months as the two sides try to hammer out ‘permanent reciprocal arrangements’.
A Government spokeswoman told the Mirror: ‘We have agreed a deal based on friendly cooperation between sovereign equals, centred on free trade and inspired by our shared history and values.
‘It takes the UK completely out of the EU’s customs union and single market – which means businesses should continue their preparations for changes next year.’