UK criticised for trying to revisit Feta and Champagne in Brexit talks

Michel Barnier has criticised the UK for trying to reopen an agreement to protect EU regional food specialities such as Champagne and Feta, saying the move is “not compatible” with a sustainable future relationship. 

Britain and the EU agreed last year as part of their Brexit deal to protect more than 3,000 registered European food names from imitation, including many well known specialties.

The issue is acutely sensitive for many EU countries, and the bloc has invested diplomatic energy down the years to ensure that partner countries keep copycat products off their shop shelves.

Last year’s EU-UK agreement also protected over 80 British food and drink products registered during the country’s decades an EU member state, including Stilton blue cheese and Scotch whisky.

But EU diplomats said that Britain was keen to revisit the issue and transfer the protections, known as “geographical indications” to the two sides’ planned trade deal.

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Coronavirus: McLaren weighs sale of stake in Formula One team | Business News

McLaren Group is considering the sale of a minority stake in its Formula One (F1) team as it tries to raise hundreds of millions of pounds to steer it through the COVID-19 crisis.

Sky News can reveal that McLaren has raised the prospect of such a deal during discussions with advisers and lenders in the last few days.

Sources said the idea was at “a conceptual stage” and was being discussed alongside other funding options, including raising capital from existing bondholders.

Bankers have yet to be formally appointed to handle a process, they added.

Any transaction is likely to involve selling between 20% and 30% of McLaren’s F1 business – a deal that would generate tens of millions of pounds.

McLaren is among the most historic names in the F1 paddock, and during more than half a century of competing has won eight F1 constructors’ championships.

The team’s drivers have

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Food groups call for special rules in Brexit trade deal

Food and drink manufacturers from across the EU and the UK have urged Brussels to take a more “flexible” approach to future commerce arrangements with Britain, warning that a basic free trade deal would hurt companies, workers and consumers.

The letter from 57 food and drink trade associations to the EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier called for Britain and the bloc to seek “continued close alignment” in order to protect highly-integrated supply chains that directly employ almost 5m people.

In a united attempt to exert pressure on both sides that is likely to hearten British negotiators, the EU and UK food and drink manufacturers warned that a tariff-free trade agreement will be “meaningless” unless measures are taken to ensure companies can take advantage of “zero tariff” rates.

The EU and the UK are both seeking a “zero-tariff, zero quota” free trade agreement, but under so-called rules of origin only

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$50bn tie-up between PSA and Fiat Chrysler faces in-depth EU probe | Business News

EU regulators have launched an in-depth four month investigation into a planned $50bn merger between carmaker Fiat Chrysler and PSA, the owner of Vauxhall.

The European Commission said it was concerned that the tie-up – agreed last December – could reduce competition in the market for vans.

A merger between the Italian-American and French companies would create the world’s fourth biggest carmaker.

It would bring Fiat Chrysler brands including Fiat, Jeep, Dodge and Maserati together with PSA’s Peugeot, Opel, DS and Vauxhall.

The EC said it was concerned about the deal’s impact on the market in commercial light vehicles in 14 EU countries as well as the UK.

It said a preliminary investigation showed the two companies “have historically competed head-to-head for vans in a number of EU Member States and price positioned their vans similarly”.

“The merger would thus remove an important competitive constraint for both of them,” it

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