EU-UK Evolving Relationship Bulletin

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


Britain threatens to suspend Northern Ireland Protocol, generating warnings from business chiefs
• Britain has threatened to scrap some Northern Ireland Brexit terms, arguing that they have become too damaging to retain. It is also alleged that UK proposals have been drawn up to permanently replace the Protocol.
• Ministers are also due to decide by the end of November as to whether to suspend the Protocol unilaterally. The EU continues to say it will not renegotiate terms and has said it would be “extremely unhelpful” if the UK did trigger Article 16.
• Meanwhile, the EU is putting together measures designed to ease the current tensions, expected to be unveiled in coming weeks. UK Minister of State for EU Relations, Lord Frost has shared reservations that this package will not offer the significant changes the UK wants.
• European countries are said to be taking measures to exert further pressure on the UK, possibly targeting UK exports to France, or using European energy exports to the UK as leverage.
• Both sides consider the end of the year to be the final deadline for compromise, and it has been alleged that sources expect further tension following the Cop26 event at the end of November, as that final deadline nears.
UK Energy Supply at risk from Europe
• In response to the UK’s failure to provide fishing licences to French fishermen, the EU may threaten to cut off the UK from European energy supplies.
• This is as a result of recent events, where during September, the UK Government announced it had approved just 12 of the 47 applications it received from French small boats. Moreover, a third of French boats applying to fish in Jersey’s waters were turned down last week by the island’s government.
EU approves mandate for Gibraltar treaty negotiations with UK
• The European Council adopted a decision Tuesday (05 September) authorising the opening of negotiations for an EU-UK agreement in respect of Gibraltar, as well as the negotiating directives. The decision paves the way for the European Commission to now begin formal negotiations with the United Kingdom, in respect of Gibraltar.
• Gibraltar was not included in the scope of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK.
• Spain and the UK struck a preliminary agreement before the end of the Transition Period (31st December 2020) to avoid a hard border between the British territory and the EU.
EU moves to reduce Gibraltar border tensions with UK
• EU member states have reduced tensions with the UK over Gibraltar, by dropping a Brussels proposal for Spanish authorities to police entry into the UK territory. Member states agreed instead to propose that officials from Frontex, the pan-EU border force, are stationed at Gibraltar’s port and airport alongside local officials.
• One ambition from these talks is to facilitate movements to and from Spain, by incorporating Gibraltar into the EU’s Schengen free movement area, which would in effect make the British overseas territory part of the bloc’s external border.
European Parliament sets up new delegation to the EU-UK Parliamentary Assembly
• The European Parliament voted Tuesday (05 September) to approve the creation of a new joint assembly between British and EU lawmakers, meant to help solve post-Brexit issues.
• The EU-UK Parliamentary Assembly will include 35 members from the European Parliament and the UK parliament (70 in total). It was set up following the entry into force of the new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement struck between the European Commission and the UK Government in December last year.
• The Parliamentary Assembly will be informed of the EU-UK Partnership Council’s decisions and make recommendations to it. The Partnership Council is co-chaired by European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and UK Minister of State for EU Relations, Lord Frost.


Other EU-UK Relationship News


• Meanwhile, a survey of over 2,000 people conducted by Savanta ComRes revealed that 52% believe that Brexit has delivered little, while 36% believe that Brexit has been a success. The survey suggests that a significant proportion of Leave and Conservative Party supporters are deeply underwhelmed by life outside the EU.
• Elsewhere, the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak addressing the Conservative Party conference in Manchester vowed Britain will become “the most exciting place on the planet” as he brushed off its post-Brexit “challenges,” adding that he believes Britain’s decision to quit the EU was the right one “in the long-term”, even as the country grapples with a supply chain squeeze and an acute shortage of HGV drivers.
• In the interim, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has stated that the UK is going through a period of “adjustment”, following recent shortages across the country, adding that “what I won’t do is go back to the old, failed model of low wages, low skills, supported by uncontrolled immigration.”


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