HOW ANGLO-FRENCH CONFRONTATION UNFOLDED

BEEF EMBARGO Conservatives accuse Labour of failing to control crisis as farmers urge consumers to continue partial boycott of French goods
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The Independent Online
THE BAN was reviewed and lifted by the EU five months ago but the affair has remained unresolved.

July 14 - After three years of a trade blockade following the BSE crisis, European Commission announces worldwide exports of British beef can restart 1 August.

August 1 - Farmers celebrate end of ban.

August 3 - France and Germany say they will not lift their ban immediately. Both say there are more questions over safety.

August 4 - The Government voices concern to France, Germany as the possibility of a legal battle looms.

October 1 -The French Food Safety Agency recommends the ban stays for safety reasons.

October 4 - Agriculture Minister Nick Brown declares a personal boycott of French products.

October 22 - Supermarkets boycott French products.

October 25 - Government signals it might ban French meat after EU report says French farmers had fed livestock with sewage.

October 29 - EU Scientific Steering Committee's unanimous verdict - French bant is not justified.

November 5 - UK, French officials meet to "clarify" UK arrangements for safeguarding against BSE.

November 16 - EU food safety commissioner David Byrne announces legal proceedings against France.

November 23 - Britain and France agree a joint "protocol of understanding" meant to clear the way for an imminent resumption of beef exports.

December 6 - French Food Safety Agency in Paris refuses to rule on whether British beef is safe, and passes the buck to Prime Minister Lionel Jospin.

December 8 - At about 10pm British time Mr Jospin announces the decision - the ban will stay in force.

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