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

 

Northern Ireland Protocol

  • Negotiations on the future of the Northern Ireland Protocol agreement continue as on Friday 19 November, Lord Frost met with Vice President of the European Commission, Maros Sefcovic in Brussels, once again.
  • As part of the negotiating package from the European Commission, there will be further reductions on customs checks, as the European bloc will offer to permanently cut customs paperwork by 50%, along with the removal of up to 80% of checks. This would create an “express line” on trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, resulting in a “win-win situation” for all, according to the EU’s lead negotiator.
  • For many, the continuance of negotiations over this week is a good sign that it is a shared priority to find a solution and end the deadlock on both sides. This has been further emphasized by comments around a change in the ‘mood music’, with the talks being carried out in a ‘good and positive’ tone.
  • If a resolution is not found however, the UK Government remains alive to triggering Article 16, standing by its previous notion that the grounds for triggering Article 16 have already been met, given the social and economic disruption in Northern Ireland, caused by the protocol to date.

 

Fishing

  • Denmark has accused the UK of breaching the post-Brexit fisheries deal following plans to ban destructive bottom trawling in the Dogger Bank conservation zone in the North Sea.
  • Under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, EU fishers can continue to access UK waters as before until 30 June 2026. Dogger Bank is among Denmark’s most important fishing grounds.
  • Prehn has said it is currently too early to think about retaliation, and the UK and the EU are continuing to negotiate regarding setting the catch limits for fishing in 2022, the deadline for which is 10th December.
  • The backlash comes amid the ongoing post-Brexit tensions with the EU, and the UK this week has said it will stand with Jersey against France if France does go through with threats of retaliation over post Brexit fishing rights.
  • In a meeting between UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brexit Minister Lord Frost, and Jersey ministers, Johnson reaffirmed his support for Jersey’s approach, and that French threats were unjustified. Downing Street continues to insist that they are seeking a “consensual solution” with the EU.

 

Financial

  • EU stock exchanges will be forced to hand over data on market transactions on a single “tape”, to help investors and the European bloc compete with London and New York.
  • The proposal is one of a number of European Commission reports, expected next week, and is aimed at knitting together the EU’s capital markets following Brexit.
  • An EU Executive has also said that reducing EU reliance on the City of London for euro clearing will take years, with EU market participants possibly continuing to clear euro dominated derivatives in London, beyond the permission expiration deadline of June 2022.
  • Banks have said that forcing a shift in euro derivatives clearing from the London Stock Exchange to Deutsche Boerse in Frankfurt would be costly and fragment markets.
  • An ESMA report is due in the coming weeks, which will outline the effect of cutting off EU market participants from clearers in London. Following this, a decision is expected on the length of Britain’s market access extension.

 

Migration

  • French police on Tuesday 16 November evacuated migrants from a makeshift camp on the site of a former industrial complex in Grande-Synthe, east of Dunkirk, where at least 1,500 people had gathered in hopes of making it across the English Channel to Britain.
  • Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said: “When we are dismantling a migrant camp, that’s above all to put people into shelters, especially as winter comes.”
  • French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has said France and the UK will strengthen their actions against migrant traffickers, after he spoke with his British counterpart, the UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, on Monday 15 November about the issue of small boats used by migrants to try to cross the Channel.
  • Darmanin also stated that police dismantled a network of smugglers in the Dunkirk region, leading to 13 people being detained, adding that 1,308 people suspected of being smugglers have been arrested since the beginning of the year.
  • He hit back at accusations from the UK government that it is failing to prevent migrants from crossing the English Channel, saying “we don’t have any lessons to take from the British” and called on London to stop using the French as “punchbags in domestic politics”.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday 18 November said France must reinforce cooperation with Britain on the thorny question of migrant Channel crossings. Macron also accused the UK of “oscillating between partnership and provocation”.
  • Meanwhile, French sporting goods retailer Decathlon has stopped selling kayaks and other small boats in four of its northern stores close to the Channel coast to prevent migrants buying them for an attempt to reach Britain. There were multiple landings along the Kent coastline, including about 60 people who landed at Dungeness on 16 November.
  • Spain has scrapped its post-Brexit visa requirements for British touring performers in a win for the UK industry. The Spanish government announced that British musicians, dancers and theatre performers and their crews will no longer require visas to tour Spain for fewer than 90 days in each 180-day period.

 

Other EU-UK News

  • A survey of over 2,000 people by Savanta has found that the UK would vote to re-join the EU by 53%–47%. The survey also found 82% of those who did not vote in the 2016 referendum say they would now vote to re-join the EU, whereas two in five UK adults would support a referendum on whether to re-join the EU within the next five years, with just one-third opposed to the idea.
  • Greece has offered to loan UK museums two classical artefacts, the golden Mask of Agamemnon, and the Artemision Bronze statue of Zeus, if Britain permanently returned the Elgin Marbles to Athens. Seventeen figures and almost half of the frieze that adorned the fifth century BC Parthenon were removed by Lord Thomas Elgin, a British diplomat and art collector, when Greece was under Ottoman rule, who then sold them to the British Museum.
  • The return of the Elgin Marbles has been a subject of contentious debate for more than 200 years during which time Greece has repeatedly called for their repatriation. The Greek prime minister has urged Boris Johnson to return them, saying the move would strengthen Britain’s global standing post-Brexit.
  • The oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell, more commonly known as Shell, announced on Monday (15 November) it wants to become fully British, ending a 114-year relationship with the Netherlands. If the new plan is implemented, the company will move its tax residency to the UK and end its dual share-structure. It will also have to drop the “Royal Dutch” from its name.
  • With Christmas fast approaching and supply chain difficulties lingering, British poultry producers said on Monday 15 November there would be enough turkeys for Christmas, after the industry focused on delivering whole birds to overcome a shortage of processing workers.

 

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