French move wait

3 December 1999

French move wait

LEGAL action against France for its continued ban on British beef has been put "on hold" by Brussels, in anticipation of an announcement by the food standards agency (AFSSA) that the embargo can be lifted.

Normally the next stage would be for the EU Commission to issue a "reasoned opinion" to the offending party, explaining how it was breaking the law and giving it up to two months to comply.

But, with AFSSA meeting this weekend to reconsider the safety of British beef and with French farm minister Jean Glavany giving every indication that a favourable opinion would be forthcoming, Brussels has decided not to progress its legal action.

Meanwhile, Germany has indicated that it will not be ready to lift its ban on British beef until next February, due to the slow pace of getting legislation through its reluctant regional governments (Lander).

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