British sausage as key ingredient in talks shows how farcical NI protocol row has become

UK prime minister ready to use every available trick to wriggle out of international deal

US president Joe Biden and UK prime minister Boris Johnson at a hotel near near St Ives in England on Thursday, ahead of the G7 summit. Photograph: Toby Melville/Getty Images

US president Joe Biden and UK prime minister Boris Johnson at a hotel near near St Ives in England on Thursday, ahead of the G7 summit. Photograph: Toby Melville/Getty Images

The arrival of the British sausage on the table as a key ingredient in the stand-off between the UK and the European Union is an illustration of just how farcical the row over the Northern Ireland protocol has become. However, it does indicate how Boris Johnson and his government are prepared to use every trick in the book to wriggle out of an international agreement.

It is more than 40 years since the fictional politician Jim Hacker, in the classic BBC comedy serious Yes Minister, staged a phoney row with the European Commission in Brussels over the future of the British sausage. The ploy was portrayed as generating huge popularity for Hacker with the Tory press and the electorate.

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