International trade update

Source: House of Commons

  • On Wednesday (7 July), Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared before the Commons Liaison Committee, where the post-Brexit impact was heavily discussed. The full transcript can be found here.
    • Scottish Affairs Committee Chair, Pete Wishart, asked about the Government’s approach to the Union.
    • The Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Neil Parish, enquired about promoting British food across the world.
    • When quizzed on the Northern Ireland Protocol by NI Affairs Committee Chair Simon Hoare, Johnson told MPs that there was no threat to Northern Ireland’s place within the United Kingdom but criticised the way it is currently operating.
  • Also on Wednesday, the International Trade Committee questioned Secretary of State Liz Truss and Chief Negotiator Vivien Life on what the Agreement in Principle for the UK-Australia trade negotiations means for consumers and businesses in the UK. She confirmed that the Australia FTA will be finalised by the end of the year but did not commit to a specific date.
  • The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee published correspondence from the Secretary of State for International Trade in relation to UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement and the new Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC). The letter can be viewed here.
  • The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Environmental Audit Committees held a joint session to scrutinise the progress made to establish the new post-Brexit Environment regulator, the Office for Environmental Protection. The session focused on the OEP’s power to hold the UK Government to account on its environmental policies and to deal with complaints about breaches of environmental law in England.
  • Lord Frost said last week that the Government would publish its plans for the future of the Northern Ireland Protocol before Parliament rises for recess next week. Speaking at an event, he stated that the UK and EU could still agree changes but that the situation was becoming urgent. He also said that there could not be a constructive relationship between the two sides until these issues were resolved.

Key dates

  • 30 September: New deadline for Great Britain-Northern Ireland trade in chilled meat products following the UK-EU agreement to a three-month extension from 1 July.
  • 1 October: New unilateral UK date for ending grace period in relation to food safety paperwork when moving agri-food goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • 1 October (but extendable to July 2022): Deadline for determining whether the UK meets the conditions for exchanging personal data (DNA profiles, fingerprints and vehicle registration data) under the Prüm framework.
  • 31 December: End of transitional period allowing more time for exporters to obtain the suppliers’ declarations needed to prove the origin of their exports (so that they qualify for preferential treatment under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA)).
  • 31 December: End of 12-month adaptation period for businesses to implement an EU regulation in relation to the flow of medicines from, and via, Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
  • 31 December: Deadline for first review of TCA provisions on air transport with a view to further liberalisation of ownership and control of air carriers.