First 'not for EU' labelling appears in Northern Irish supermarkets

Thu 24 Aug 2023
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

EU/NI flags

Asda has become the first supermarket to start using new “Not for EU” labelling for goods sold in its Northern Ireland stores.

The BBC reported that the first of the labels have appeared on meat products being offered for sale in Asda supermarkets.

The labelling of certain “high-risk products” – such as meat, dairy and composite goods – was a requirement of the Windsor Framework, agreed to by prime minister Rishi Sunak and EC president Ursula von der Leyen in late February.

The labelling was due to be introduced on a phased basis from October this year, and is expected to eventually be rolled out to the rest of the UK in a two-phase roll-out lasting until July 2025.

A spokesman for ASDA confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph that the labelling was done in-line with the requirements of the Windsor Framework.

According to the Guardian the labels are designed to make sure that the goods are not shipped out of Northern Ireland into the EU.

Windsor Framework

The framework modified certain aspects of the previous Northern Ireland Protocol, which had been agreed between the EU and UK to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland following Brexit.

At the joint press conference to announce the new deal, Sunak and von der Leyen hailed the framework as a breakthrough for Northern Ireland trade and a signal of better general relations between the UK and EU.

Not for re-opening

The political stalemate in Northern Ireland over the protocol and framework looks set to continue as a minister confirmed that the Windsor Framework would not be modified.

Minister of state for Northern Ireland, Steve Baker, told radio station Cool FM that the framework discussions would not be re-opened to satisfy the DUP.

Baker said that “the best future available to people is to restore the executive, make the most of the Windsor Framework and propose improvements if people need to.”

The DUP refused to nominate ministers for the Northern Ireland assembly, citing issues with the protocol. Under the Good Friday Agreement, any Stormont government must include a first minister and deputy first minister from Republican and Unionist parties to function.

This stance has continued under the Windsor Framework, despite moves made by the UK government to satisfy some of their concerns.