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Brexit round-up 15/05/20

Welcome to this, our latest Brexit round-up. Each week we provide a succinct round-up of the latest news surrounding the Brexit process, so you can keep abreast of the issues which are likely to affect your organisation.

Third round of talks commence

The third round of trade talks between the EU and the UK took place this week in a further attempt to reach agreement before the transition period ends. The next round of talks will take place in the week beginning on 1 June and both sides will need to decide by the end of June whether the current deadline for negotiating an agreement should be extended beyond the end of December. An extension to the December deadline should be made by the UK-EU “joint committee” overseeing the agreement by 1 July.

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Tariff trade deal impossible by end of the year

EU diplomats have said that a UK-EU trade deal with tariffs impossible in six months. Michael Gove said last week that the Government could “modify our ask” by giving up on a “zero-tariff, zero-quota” trade deal in order to keep the UK free from a duty to adhere to European standards on workers’ rights, environmental protection and state aid. However, the EU diplomats said Gove’s proposal was incompatible with the Government’s refusal to extend the transition period saying “If we are going to negotiate specific tariff lines, even if it is only a couple of hundred, there is no possibility that we will do this by the end of the year. That’s completely unheard of. It will never happen. But if we are going to go into a line-by-line negotiation, this will take two years.” EU sources say it will be impossible to negotiate tariffs quickly because the 27 member states would need time to agree a common position, balancing competing national interests.

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UK will enhance inspection posts at Northern Ireland’s ports

In an attempt to agree a Brexit deal within the transition period the UK Government has confirmed that it will impose border checks at Northern Ireland’s ports as Northern Ireland will continue to follow EU single market rules on agricultural and manufactured goods however, the rest of the UK will stop following these rules at the end of 2020. Junior Minister Declan Kearney said the UK Government has “confirmed it will urgently put in place detailed plans with the executive, which does include physical posts at ports of entry.” A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said “We want to work with NI businesses and the executive to ensure new admin procedures are streamlined and efficient.”

For more information please click here.

If you have any questions about any of the issues which are raised, or would like to discuss your own organisation’s options during the Brexit process, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

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