Britain’s EU trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, has called for an end to the so-called bra wars facing UK retailers.

Mandelson has urged EU countries to release up to 80 million items of clothing being held by the countries after a number of EU states called for tighter protection for their clothes manufacturers from countries such as China.

EU officials returned from China yesterday without making any progress. However, Mandelson dismissed fears that the dispute would cause a clothes shortage.