Brexit Bulletin, 5 May 2020

May 01, 2020

Following the end of the second round of Brexit negotiations last week, the EU and UK met on 1 May 2020 to discuss the details of the Ireland/Northern Ireland protocol. The committee on the Ireland/Northern Ireland protocol is one of the six specialised committees under the Joint Committee established to implement the Withdrawal Agreement. Also, read about the UK’s updated Financial services legislation under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

EU-UK specialised committee on Ireland/Northern Ireland protocol meet for the first time

Following the end of the second round of Brexit negotiations, the EU and UK have met on 1 May 2020 to discuss the details of the Ireland/Northern Ireland protocol. The committee on the Ireland/Northern Ireland protocol is one of the six specialised committees under the Joint Committee established to implement the Withdrawal Agreement. While these discussions are legally separate to the EU and UK’s future relationship negotiations, they hold immense importance in deciphering the nature of future customs, regulatory and veterinary checks to be applied to products entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, with UK officials in charge of carrying out the controls. The compromise avoided the risk of a hard border with the Republic of Ireland, while keeping Northern Ireland inside the UK’s customs territory. However, the new system needs to be ready for when Britain’s post-Brexit transition period expires at the end of this year.

The committee met virtually and was co-chaired by EU and UK officials. Philippe Bertrand, a senior official in Michel Barnier’s task force lead the EU delegation, while Brendan Threlfall, a senior civil servant who has dealt with issues relating to Ireland throughout the Brexit negotiations led the UK side. Andrew McCormick, Director General - International Relations, represented the Northern Ireland Executive on the UK side.

In a statement following the meeting, the EU has said:

“The proper and timely implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement remains a key priority for the EU, in particular for maintaining peace and stability on the island of Ireland in the context of the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement, while ensuring the integrity of the Single Market. A new partnership can only be built on the faithful and effective implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement.”

 

UK financial services legislation under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018

The UK HM Treasury has updated their programme of secondary legislation to ensure that the UK continues to have a functioning financial services regulatory regime in all scenarios, when the UK leaves the EU. This collection sets out how HM Treasury intends to use the powers under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, to ensure that the UK will have a functioning financial services regulatory regime in all scenarios, when the UK leaves the EU.

This work involves making statutory instruments (SIs) under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act to prevent, remedy or mitigate any failure of EU law to operate effectively after the UK leaves the EU. These SIs are not intended to make policy changes, other than those necessary to reflect the UK’s new position outside the EU, and to smooth the transition to this situation.

Visit their dedicated page to see updated guidance, including the addition of ‘Trade Repository Registration Arrangements under the UK Securities Financing Transactions Regulation’ document under Approach Papers.

 

 

Read further updates on our Brexit web centre.