News & Insights

Update on UK-EU Relationship: week commencing 13 September 2021

The UK Government has announced that it would indefinitely extend post-Brexit grace periods on some goods imports to Northern Ireland. In a written Ministerial Statement to Parliament Lord Frost said “To provide space for potential further discussions, and to give certainty and stability to businesses while any such discussions proceed, the Government will continue to operate the Protocol on the current basis. This includes the grace periods and easements currently in force.”

The EU Commission taking note of the statement and the continuation of the existing grace periods, reiterating that its focus “remains on identifying long-term, flexible and practical solutions” regarding the issues experienced by citizens and businesses in Northern Ireland. European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič visited Northern Ireland a few days later to hear about the Protocol’s practical difficulties, where he reiterated that the deal would not be renegotiated.

European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee (PECH) heard from European Commission officials about the state of play of the implementation of the fisheries element of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement on 6 September. The session can be viewed here.

Monday, 13 September – Treasury Committee continues its inquiry into the future of financial services, examining how regulation of the sector should operate post-Brexit.

Tuesday, 14 September – The Scottish Parliament Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee considers the Environment Bill (UK legislation) and the House of Lords European Affairs Committee holds a one-off session to investigate the impact that the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement has had on the UK creative industry and the movement of creative professionals.

Wednesday, 15 September – Westminster Hall debates on Back British Farming Day and the future of domestic agriculture. The Northern Ireland Committee for Finance meets on the Northern Ireland Protocol with John Martin, Road Haulage Association, Mark Tait, Target Transport, Geoff Potter, Gray & Adams, Peter Summerton, McCulla Ireland Ltd, David Brown, Ulster Farmers’ Union and James McCluggage, Ulster Farmers’ Union and the House of Lords Protocol on Ireland/ Northern Ireland Sub-Committee takes evidence on Article 2 of the Protocol (rights of individuals).

Thursday, 16 September – The House of Commons oral questions on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Key Dates for 2021:

  • 22 September: First meeting of the UK/EU Specialised Committee on SPS issues under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement
  • 1 October: Scheduled introduction of checks on products of animal origin imported into GB from the EU.
  • 1 October (but extendable to July 2022): Deadline for determining whether the UK meets the conditions for exchanging personal data under the Prüm framework.
  • 1 October: EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will require a passport to travel to the UK, rather than national identity cards.
  • 31 December: Deadline for first review of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) provisions on air transport with a view to further liberalisation of ownership and control of air carriers.
  • 31 December: end of 12-month adaptation period for GB businesses to implement new EU regulation in relation to the flow of medicines to NI.