EU & UK Relationship Update

Source: House of Commons

Last week, two major reports were published about managing future UK/EU regulatory divergence.

‘Taking back control of regulation’, from the Institute for Government, notes that six months on since the end of the transition period, not much has changed. However, as both sides continue to go their separate ways, it covers the potential benefits and costs of regulating differently and makes several recommendations.

The second report, ‘After Brexit: Divergence and the Future of UK Regulatory Policy’, from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, also makes several observations and recommendations around the UK’s approach to regulatory change.

Elsewhere, Lord Frost was in Northern Ireland again last week, speaking with businesses as well as members of the Catholic, Nationalist and Republican community. During the visit, he warned that issues with the operation of the protocol threaten to undermine the cross-community support on which it relies. Talks between the UK and EU continue but progress appears minimal. Against a backdrop of increasingly sour relations, we await the outcome of this week’s UK-EU Joint Committee meeting.

Finally, the European Parliament’s political group leaders have agreed to launch a new ‘UK Contact Group’ to coordinate scrutiny of, and parliamentary involvement in, the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and trade deal. It will be Chaired by MEPs David McAllister and Bernd Lange, and the Chair of a Parliamentary Delegation for Relations with the UK, which is yet to be set up.

Recent developments
Upcoming activity

Tuesday 8 June

At 2.30pm, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee continues its inquiry into moving animals across borders.

Wednesday 9 June

At 9.30am, the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee takes further evidence as part of its inquiry into Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol.

At 10am, the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee continues its inquiry into the UK’s security and trade relationship with China.

At 12noon, Questions to the Prime Minister.

At 4.15pm, the House of Lords Protocol on Ireland/ Northern Ireland sub-Committee holds another session as part of its inquiry into the operation of the Protocol.

Thursday 10 June

At 9.30am, Questions to the Secretary of State for International Trade.

At 9.40am, the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs considers the withdrawal of DAERA and Local Authority staff from ports.

At 10.30am the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee questions ministers on the issue of EU visa arrangements for creative workers.