Brexit Bulletin, 12 October 2020

Oct 09, 2020

There have been some signals this week that the UK and EU might be moving closer to reaching a deal, with reported progress on the key sticking point of State Aid. In other developments, the UK has confirmed that passports will be required for entry by EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens into the UK from October 2021. In Ireland, the Central Bank is warning of the effect of a no deal Brexit on Ireland’s economic recovery next year, while the Tánaiste is writing to all registered businesses to get ready for Brexit.

 

“Good Friday Agreement is not only an Irish issue, but a European one”, says Charles Michel

At a joint press conference with Taoiseach Michael Martin, European Council President Charles Michel has stated that the EU stands in full solidarity with Ireland, especially when it comes to the full implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland. Addressing his recent conversation with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr. Michel has stressed upon cooperation from the UK, and also highlighted the intensive and continuous negotiations on the Brexit front as both parties look to reach some agreement on issues of divergence.

Speaking in front of the House of Lords European Committee on Wednesday 7 October, UK chief Brexit negotiator David Frost has reportedly said that the UK could potentially agree to write State aid principles into a trade deal with the EU. With State aid being one of the most hard line issues for the UK, this statement shows that both sides were figuring out if it was “possible to go further than you normally do in an FTA and agree some provisions that shape and condition the subsidy policy on both sides.” It has also been reported that Mr Frost’s EU counterpart, Michel Barnier has signalled that he believed that a deal is possible, however it is expected that the negotiations will continue on beyond 15 October 2020.

With 15 October pencilled in as the date to finalise an agreement between the two blocs, the European Council President also signalled towards the upcoming European Council summit on 15-16 October, as an important occasion to discuss, not only Brexit but, important issues such as the Single Market, climate action, and the EU’s digital agenda.

 

EU Citizens will need passports to enter the UK post-Brexit

In their updated post-Brexit Border Operating Model, the UK government have said that from 1 October 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss Identity cards will not be recognised as a valid travel document to gain entry to the UK.

The plan also confirms that the UK government intends to make it mandatory for all truck drivers to obtain an access permit to drive into Kent and on to the Channel crossing at Dover after the Brexit transition period ends.

The model also maps out up to 10 intended locations for border customs checkpoints. These sites will be used to carry out customs checks and ensure that drivers have the correct documentation.

The document provides guidance for traders on a number of other readiness issues. The government also announced that it will use an exemption within EU state aid rules to increase support for customs intermediaries companies through the Customs Grant Scheme.

 

HMRC updates guidance on importing and exporting excise goods post-Brexit

Following the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, there will be changes to how Great Britain based traders will import/export and declare excise goods like alcohol, tobacco and certain oils.

From 1 January 2021 onwards,

  • imports of excise goods from the EU to Great Britain will be treated the same as imports from the rest of the world.
  • exports of excise goods from Great Britain to the EU will be treated the same as exports to the rest of the world.

The guidance details guidance under a variety of scenarios such as, how to become a registered consignor, steps to take as a registered excise business, and what to do if goods are dispatched on or before 31 December 2020 but received from 1 January 2021.

HMRC have also specified that there may be different rules in respect of Northern Ireland movements after transition, and that these will be made available on a later date.

 

Brexit Bites

  • HMRC have made available sector webinars, to support businesses in preparing for the end of the transition period: Join a sector focused webinar to check the new rules and understand the actions to take. See the full schedule and sign up here.
  • The Central Bank of Ireland has revised downwards its outlook for the coming years, on the basis of the impact of a no-deal Brexit
  • Research from the Economic and Social Research Institute  says that in the event of a no deal Brexit, Ireland’s economic recovery next year will be impeded.
  • Tánaiste Leo Varadkar will, in the coming days,  write to all 225, 000 registered businesses in the country to urge them to get ready for Brexit.  The letter will contain practical things businesses can do now to prepare for the next business environment next year.

 

For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage.