EU-UK Evolving Relationship Bulletin

Although the EU-UK trade agreement has been concluded, it has become clear that there are still many issues to resolve and many areas left for the UK and EU to discuss further. At Instinctif Partners we will continue to track the evolving EU-UK relationship and monitor major changes in regulations the UK or the EU may adopt post-Brexit on a weekly basis.

 

EU-UK Future Relationship Updates

 

Northern Ireland Protocol

Ireland caught in the middle between the UK and the EU

  • There are growing frustrations in Ireland over a sense of being trapped in the middle of a trade row between the EU and the UK over the implementation of Brexit trade rules.
  • The current situation around the Protocol continues to lead to unionist concerns that Northern Ireland is being separated from mainland GB, particularly given the problematic impact on trade and supply chains.
  • In Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party have argued that Dublin has failed to protect North-South relations through its failure to help overhaul the current Protocol arrangements.
  • Dublin, in response, has echoed the wider-EU consensus in welcoming a pragmatic approach, however they remain steadfast that the Protocol should not be renegotiated.
  • Lord Frost, the UK Brexit Minister, is expected to resume talks with his EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic in September, in the hope of reaching an agreement to remove the burden of Brussels’ red tape on Northern Ireland.

 

 Supply Chains

The Food and drink firms face higher prices

  • Food and Drink Ireland (FDI) have found that more than 50% of Irish companies have seen costs increase by at least 10% on raw materials, energy and packaging. In some cases, this has been high as 20%.
  • FDI surveyed member companies in July to assess the extent and impact of input cost increases. Already this year, Irish producers have been taking a hit from the rising costs associated with Brexit, Covid and other supply chain constraints.
  • The price of bread has been rising, and experts anticipate that further food and drink prices could follow suit if producers can’t control this sharp rise in costs.
  • Paul Kelly, the Director of FDI, has called for a series of measures to offset these impacts, including a rapid roll out of funding from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve across the sector and a renewed focus across Government on reducing the cost of doing business in Ireland.

Lorries queuing powers to be made permanent

  • Emergency powers to deal with post-Brexit queues of lorries destined for France from the UK are being made permanent.
  • Operation Brock, a traffic management system designed to cope with queues of up to 13,000 lorries heading for mainland Europe, through Kent, was intended to end by October 2021. This deadline had already been extended once when the Transition Period ended at the end of December 2020.
  • UK Government ministers are planning to make the provisions indefinite; a clear sign that the Government is anticipating further cross-Channel disruption.
  • Through removing “sunset clauses” from the legislation that sets out when the powers would expire, the emergency protocol could be activated at any time to govern the flow of lorries around the Port of Dover and Channel tunnel (at Folkestone, England) with contraflow systems.
  • The change was published in a consultation response on the Government’s website, during current parliamentary recess, with statutory instruments to be laid in September.
Other EU-UK Relationship News

Vodafone to reintroduce roaming charges in Europe

  • Vodafone will reintroduce roaming charges in Europe for UK mobile customers from January next year.
  • Contrary to previous statements by all UK carriers that they had no plans to reintroduce roaming fees, Vodafone is the latest carrier to reintroduce the fees, after EE, following the UK’s departure from the EU.
  • The charges will apply to customers who sign up to or change their contract from August 11th, 2021.
  • Roaming charges were abolished in the EU in 2017, but the UK’s renegotiation of trade agreements with the EU did not include free mobile roaming.

UK Home Office U-turns to extend EU citizens settlement application deadline

  • In a volte-face, the UK Home Office has announced that EU citizens and their families who apply late for the post-Brexit residence scheme will have their rights protected temporarily.
  • According to the Home Office, it will protect the rights of late applicants until their application and any appeal, is decided. EU family members will also see their rights protected for up to three months after their arrival in the UK, and pending the outcome of an application to the scheme.
  • The U-turn is a result of pressure from campaigners and diplomats who feared consequences for some EU nationals after the June 30th deadline for the settlement scheme.
  • The UK Government said it had informed the European Commission of its decision to extend the post-Brexit residence scheme.

 

If you have any questions or requests, reach out to daniel.costa@instinctif.com