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No EU plan to ban Union Flag from British meat packs

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Media reports of an EU plan to ban the Union Flag from British meat products are not true.  

As explained to The Daily Express before it published today’s article – similar ones have also appeared in the Mail and Telegraph,which did not even contact us – European Commission proposals on the labelling of pre-packaged fresh meat (from sheep, goats, poultry and pigs) will not prevent the use of the Union Jack or of other EU Member State flags. Neither will they prevent the use of additional geographical labels such as Welsh or Scottish. Private logos such as the Red Tractor logo will still be permitted, too.

The Commission is looking to introduce clearer labelling of Member State origin. That will make sure that when customers buy meat labelled as British they know it really is British and not, for example, just imported for slaughter. This will be done without placing unnecessary burdens on producers and retailers.

The Express report – and others in some specialist media – seem to be based on incorrect information received from various sources, including Defra.   

Current discussions are focused on “compulsory rules” for labelling of pre-packaged fresh meat – including the clearer specification of Member State of origin mentioned above.  

The use of  flags and private logos is a different issue. It will be covered under separate proposed rules on “voluntary labels”. This is because – while the Commission has no intention of banning flags and other logos on pre-packaged meat – it does not intend either to propose making them compulsory.

Letter to Daily Express on EU symbol on national sport strips

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

A letter sent by the European Parliament office to the Daily Express in answer to their article about “Brussels” “forcing” national teams to wear the EU symbol. It is worth pointing out that the report being discussed today is looking at ways to respond to pan-European challenges such as in the fight against violence and racism in sport, doping, encouraging good governance in sport, and helping associations establish mechanisms for the collective selling of media rights to ensure adequate redistribution of revenues.

Sir,
 
Your front page story today contains a number of very misleading statements and basic inaccuracies.
 
As we have already made clear to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, when it first published this story several days ago, “Brussels” is not forcing British teams to wear the EU flag now, nor is it remotely likely to do so ever.

A single Spanish MEP has at this stage floated a suggestion.
 
The report referred to by both the Daily Telegraph and your publication  will not be voted on by the committee today, this week or next – this is scheduled for  October – and it is unlikely to be voted on by the European Parliament as a whole till November at least.
 
It can be amended at every stage of the process, making it possible for MEPs to oppose the suggestion that players should wear the EU flag on their shirts.
 
Even if the whole Parliament ended up endorsing the report in its entirety this would simply constitute the basis for a request to the European Commission to come up with a legislative proposal which would then have to be agreed by EU ministers as well as MEPs.
 
Best regards,
 
Paola Buonadonna
Press Attachée

European Parliament Information Office in the United Kingdom

EC in the UK

Check the EC Representation in the UK website

Please note that all statements in all entries were correct on the date of publication given. However, older archived posts are not systematically updated in the light of later developments, for example changes to EU law.

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