In the ongoing battle over beef, UK suffered yet another defeat when the European Court of Justice rejected its demand for an immediate lifting of the ban on its beef exports. The court in Luxembourg dismissed UK's argument that the ban was purely an economic strategy tailored to protect continental beef markets. The court held up the ban describing it as a "legitimate' public health measure. Sir Nicholas Lyell, UK's attorney general, declared that they would continue the case by arguing for a total lifting of the ban. According to European Union officials, a final decision by the court could take more than a year.

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