Published: 21 May 2020  (Updated: 21 May 2020)

Brexit Updates – UK Government Negotiation Documents

On 19 and 20 May, the UK Government published a series of documents of high importance related to the UK/EU Brexit negotiations.  The documents are listed below.

  • David Frost (Sherpa and EU Adviser) letter to Michel Barnier (UK Task Force Secretariat General European Commission).  This letter was sent in response to Michel Barnier’s statement following the third round of negotiations, which took place on week commencing 11 May.  The letter announces the publication of the UK proposal for a draft UK/EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA), in order to provide a constructive contribution to the negotiations and allow the EU Member States to gain knowledge of the UK proposal.  The letter states that the UK proposal is close to existing FTAs that the EU stipulated with other third countries, such as Japan and Canada.
  • The UK/EU draft FTA (UK proposal), with related annexes and sectorial agreements.  CTPA is analysing the UK proposal and comparing it to the EU Draft Agreement Text, in collaboration with Cosmetics Europe (the EU personal care association).  CTPA will keep companies updated on the outcome of the   In the meantime, we would like to highlight that the UK proposal contains an annex on chemical to promote and identify the collaboration between UK regulators and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) for chemicals.
  • The Northern Ireland Protocol (UK proposal), which gives an overview of the arrangements between Ireland and Northern Ireland (NI).  Below is a brief explanation of the key points.  The protocol is not a permanent solution, but it will be subject to voting every four years by the elected institutions in Ireland.
    • No change of arrangements for goods going from NI into Great Britain (GB).  However, goods coming into GB from the EU via NI will be subject to checks and customs procedures. 
    • Goods going from GB into NI will not be subject to tariffs and checks.  However, goods going from GB into the EU via NI will be subject to tariffs (as agreed in the future UK/EU FTA) and basic customs procedures.
    • NI can trade with third countries as part of the UK; it will therefore benefit from FTAs that the UK agrees with other third countries.
    • Where NI traders gain product approvals or certification for the NI market from EU authorities or bodies, the UK will recognise those also for the GB market.
    • NI maintains alignment on some administrative processes within the EU VAT and excise rules for goods.  NI is and will remain part of the UK VAT and excise system.

CTPA will update companies on any developments of the negotiations and its assessment of the current proposals.  Companies may find useful reading this summary of both proposals issued by the House of Commons Library.

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