News & Insights

Weekly Update on UK-EU Relationship: week commencing 1 February 2021

This week, Peers will consider MPs amendments made to the ‘genocide clause’ in the Government’s Trade Bill.  The genocide clause creates a mechanism to declare that a state is committing genocide, by giving the High Court the right to rule on the issue. This would automatically cancel any trade deals between the UK and a country ruled to be committing genocide.  This clause was passed by the Peers a few weeks ago but narrowly rejected in the House of Commons.

Monday 1 February

In the House of Commons, the Public Accounts Committee will question senior Home Office and Border Force officials on the progress being made on IT systems at the UK border.  In the House of Lords, Baroness Randerson will question the Government about the impact of post transition to the UK logistics industry. There will be a general debate on the International Relations Committee’s report into the UK’s future relationship with the Pacific Alliance.

The EU Goods Sub-Committee will hear from the Institute of Directors and the British Chambers of Commerce on  future UK-EU trade in goods.

Tuesday 2 February

In the House of Lords, Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick will ask the Government what financial support will be made available to the UK farmers.  Peers will consider Commons amendments to the Government’s Trade Bill.

On the Committee Corridor:

  • The Lords Common Frameworks Committee will continue scrutiny of post-Brexit common framework, taking evidence on the process in Northern Ireland with three agricultural and environmental policy experts; and
  • The Lords European Union Committee will hear from a panel of academics in relation to the governance arrangements set out in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Wednesday 3 February

The Earl of Clancarty will ask what support the Government is currently providing for the music sector to tour in the EU. A meeting of the EU Environment Sub-Committee to discuss future UK environmental policy with the Environment Secretary George Eustice MP.

MPs will consider three EU Exit statutory instruments, two related to future VAT measures and one related to financial sanctions.

The International Trade Committee will take stock of the UK’s current trade negotiations with academics and business representatives.

Thursday 4 February

On the Committee Corridor:

  • The Welsh Affairs Committee will hear from regional stakeholders on the implications of the UK-EU TCA one month on.
  • The Lords EU Services Committee will hear from Lord Grimstone of Bobscobel Kt (Minister for Investment) on future UK-EU trade in services.
  • The Scottish Affairs Committee will hear from Scotland’s fishing and seafood industry to discuss the impact of the UK-EU TCA and the end of the transition period.
  • The Petitions Committee will hear on the future arrangements for touring UK professionals and artists in the EU.

Key Dates for 2021

  • 28 February: European Commission imposed deadline for when the European Parliament will have consented to the UK-EU TCA.  This date can be extended by a decision from the EU-UK Partnership Council.
  • 31 March: Date by which the UK & EU aim to have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a framework for regulatory cooperation on financial services.
  • 1 April: End of grace period for UK supermarkets and trusted suppliers in relation to food safety paperwork when moving agri-food goods between the Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • 30 June: End of temporary bridging period for the free flow of data from the UK to the EU.
  • 1 July: End of 6-month grace period for Great Britain & Northern Ireland trade on chilled meat products.
  • 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.