War of the ferrets! Lord Frost wants the EU to back down on pet free movement.
Lord David Frost has urged the EU to abandon restrictions that prevent pets from freely moving between Northern Ireland and the UK mainland, with one Tory MP stating the EU’s position amounted to a “ferret blockade.”
On Wednesday, Maros Sefcovic, the European Commissioner in charge of talks on the Northern Ireland Protocol, presented a slew of crucial concessions, including significant reductions in the number of checks required on products entering the territory. Northern Ireland, on the other hand, is still governed by EU animal health laws, and Mr Sefcovic, speaking in Brussels, gave no sign that a compromise was in the works.
As a result, British pet owners now face document requirements that cost more than £110 to travel to the UK and EU27 countries.
Government officials told the Telegraph that the scenario was a “glaring absence” from the EU’s recommendations.
“It should be as easy to get a pet from London to Belfast as it is from London to Glasgow,” one said.
“I would call this a ferret blockage,” Andrew Bridgen, the Tory MP for North West Leicestershire and a former ferret owner, said.
“It’s beyond time for the EU to reverse ferret.”
“Northern Ireland is just as much a part of the UK as North Wales,” said David Jones, a fellow Tory and Clwyd West MP and deputy chairman of the European Research Group (ERG). It’s a question of sovereignty.” If the UK agrees to fully comply with Brussels’ animal health laws, EU authorities will agree to a pet passport scheme for British dogs, cats, and ferrets in Northern Ireland.
The European Commission is willing to reduce animal health inspections by up to 80%.
A deal on pets, on the other hand, is thought to have been vetoed by health inspectors.
To win unionist support, the DUP leader, Jeffrey Donaldson, requested that any new accord include a “settlement on pet passports.”
“As we approach the summer months, many people are turning their attention to a long-awaited break and many are choosing to stay within the UK because of the uncertainty that still exists regarding travel to other countries,” said Rosemary Barton MLA, the Ulster Unionist Party’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEARA) spokeswoman.
“Another travel-related worry has been identified. “Brinkwire Summary News.”