News & Insights

Weekly Update on UK-EU Relationship: week commencing 8 March 2021

The UK took unilateral action to extend the grace periods for introducing full checks for agri-food goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland until 1 October 2021.  We expect some action from the European Commission, as the Commission claim the measures violate the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Trade and Agricultural Commission are now on a statutory footing and published an advisory report making recommendations on future trade.

Monday 8 March

The Lords’ Legislation Grand Committee will debate the Financial Services Bill on its fifth day of committee stage.

Wednesday 3 March

The International Trade Committee will hold their second evidence session on Digital trade and data with the following witnesses:

  • Professor David Collins, Professor of International Economic Law at City, University of London
  • Professor Christopher Kuner, Professor of Law, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), and Co-Director, Brussels Privacy Hub
  • Dr Kristina Irion, Assistant Professor, Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam
  • (3.30pm) Sue Davies MBE, Head of Consumer Protection and Food Policy, Which?
  • Sabina Ciofu, Head of EU and Trade Policy, techUK
  • Jim Killock, Executive Director, Open Rights Group.

The International Relations and Defence Committee will hold a virtual evidence session on the UK’s security and trade relationship with China with the following witnesses:

  • Dr Janka Oertel, Director of the Asia Programme at European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Professor Kerry Brown, Director, Lau China Institute at King’s College London
  • Professor Steve Tsang, Director, China Institute at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

The International Agreements Committee will hold their first evidence session on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) at 4pm with the following witnesses:

  • Catherine Brims, International Policy Advisor at The Law Society of England and Wales
  • Sean McGovern, Board Member at London Market Group, and CEO, UK and Lloyd’s Market at AXA XL
  • James Sibley, Head of International Affairs at Federation of Small Businesses
  • Sally Jones, Partner, Trade Strategy at Ernst & Young

The Northern Ireland Assembly’s Committee for the Executive Office will hold an evidence session on the UK’s Exit from the EU with the Seanad Special Select Committee on the Withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

Thursday 4 March

Another evidence session for the International Trade Committee continuing the inquiry into the UK-EU trading relationship with Neil Ross, Head of Policy, techUK; Mr John Cooke, Chairman of the Liberalisation of Trade in Services Committee, TheCityUK; and Sally Jones, UK Trade Strategy and Brexit Leader at EY.

Lord Black of Brentwood will ask an oral question on visa and work permit requirements for UK music and performing arts students touring in the EU.

The Northern Ireland Assembly’s Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs takes evidence from DAERA on operational issues and preparations for the end of the grace period. They also take evidence from Agricultural Consultants Associations / NIAPA – Independent Panel Review for Decisions.

Key Dates for 2021

  • 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.
  • 30 April: the agreed date for ending the provisional application of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
  • 30 June: End of temporary bridging period for the free flow of data from the UK to the EU.
  • 1 July: End of six-month grace period for Great Britain-Northern Ireland trade on chilled meat products.
  • 1 October: new date for ending grace period in relation to food safety paperwork when moving agri-food goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • 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.