Belfast Telegraph

UK 'must ensure delicacies like Parma ham and Champagne keep protected status'

Britain must ensure that European delicacies like Parmesan cheese, Parma ham and Champagne continue to have protected status after Brexit, a Brussels negotiating document states.

The European Union position paper on intellectual property rights said the Government should put in place the "necessary domestic legislation" so the products continue to enjoy protected status after the UK's expected exit in March 2019.

This should not result in financial costs for the producers of the goods and administrative burdens should be "kept to a strict minimum", the paper states.

The European Commission first acted in 1992 to establish a list of products which could only be described by their place of origin if they really were produced in that place.

The UK list includes Whitstable oysters, Orkney beef, Shetland lamb, Kentish ale, Cornish clotted cream, Dorset Blue cheese, and Jersey Royal potatoes.

The same legal protection is accorded to Italian Parma ham, French Champagne and other European goods.

The document was published alongside negotiating position papers on sensitive issues including the future of the Irish border, customs arrangements, public procurement and data protection.

In the paper on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the EU called for a unique solution but said the onus was on the UK to come up with ideas to avoid a hard frontier, including checkpoints.

The document on data urges the UK to uphold EU data standards on classified Brussels information after Brexit or erase or destroy it.

The customs paper aims to set out plans an "orderly withdrawal" in relation to the movement of goods between the UK and EU, where the movement starts before and ends on or after the exit date.

A document on public procurement states that EU companies carrying out contracts in the UK or vice versa should be not be discriminated against.

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