Update on UK-EU Relationship: week commencing 5 July 2021
Post Brexit extensions agreed.
End of transition grace period
The deadline to apply for the EUSS has passed on the 30 June. Reports suggest that applications have topped 6 million – including 570,000 pending applications. Out of the 6.02 million applications, over 5.3 million were made in England.
Creative workers (notably musicians)
Lord Frost appeared before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee to discuss the lack of agreement with the EU on cross-border mobility for creative workers in the trade agreement struck between the UK and EU. This leads to practical and financial barriers. Some musicians can only apply for certain touring jobs if they have an EU passport. The Government wants to support people through this big change and MPs are continuing to engage with EU countries.
Northern Ireland Protocol
An application for judicial review relating to the Northern Ireland Protocol was dismissed by the High Court in Belfast. One of the grounds of challenge was that the Protocol was incompatible with a provision of the Act of Union 1800 which says that GB and Ireland shall be on the same footing in terms of trade. The High Court said that “Although the final outworkings of the Protocol in relation to trade between GB and Northern Ireland are unclear and the subject matter of ongoing discussions it cannot be said that the two jurisdictions are on “equal footing” in relation to trade”. It also concluded that the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 giving effect to the Protocol in domestic law prevail over the Act of Union if there is a conflict. The applicants have indicated that they are considering an appeal. The full judgement can be read here.
The ban on chilled meat products from Great Britain being sold in Northern Ireland will be postponed until at least 30 September. The European Union has agreed to the UK’s request for a three-month delay to a ban. However, there is no clarity yet on what will happen after the extension. Read the full statement from the UK Government here and European Commission here.
The Committee are examining the changes brought about by the Northern Ireland Protocol which came into effect on 1 January 2021 after Brexit. The inquiry looks at how the new arrangements affect Northern Ireland and how the Government is implementing the Protocol. The next formal meeting will be held on 15 July 2021.
From July 2021 traders moving all goods will have to make declarations at the point of importation and pay relevant tariffs. Full Safety and Security declarations will be required a for all goods and there will be an increase in physical checks and the taking of samples in relation to animals, plants and their products at GB Border Control Posts.
This is the final stage of the new border controls that have been introduced in three stages since January 2021, recognising the impact of coronavirus on businesses’ ability to prepare. Read more about border control here.
The European Commission has adopted two data adequacy decisions, meaning that flows of personal data from the EU to UK will continue. The decisions run out after four years but could continue according to the EU, if the UK ensures an adequate level of data protection. The UK Government welcomed the decision in a statement here. The European Commission’s comment is here.
What is happening this week?
Tuesday 6 July
The House of Lords Common Frameworks Scrutiny Committee continued its inquiry into post-Brexit common frameworks.
The Foreign Affairs Committee questioned Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in a one-off session on the work of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
Wednesday 7 July
The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee returns to its Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol inquiry.
Thursday 8 July
A debate in the House of Lords on renewing the UK’s trading relationship with Commonwealth countries.
Friday 9 July
The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for the Executive Office heard from Lord Frost on the current and future workings of the Protocol on Ireland/ Northern Ireland.
Key Dates for 2021:
- 30 September: New date for Great Britain-Northern Ireland trade in chilled meat products.
- 1 October (but extendable to July 2022): Deadline for determining whether the UK meets the conditions for exchanging personal data (DNA profiles, fingerprints and vehicle registration data) under the Prüm framework.
- 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 Great Britain businesses to implement new EU regulation in relation to the flow of medicines to Northern Ireland.