Brexit developments 18 December 2020

Baskar Sundaram
Baskar Sundaram

Source : Deloitte

This week’s top 5:

  • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen updated the European Parliament on Wednesday saying “I cannot tell you whether there will be a deal or not, but I can tell you that there is a path to an agreement now. The path may be very narrow, but it is there and it is therefore our responsibility to continue trying.”
     
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons on Wednesday there was “every opportunity, every hope” they would close a trade deal with the EU. However, later in the week Mr Johnson was less positive saying that the trade talks were in a “serious situation” and warned that “time was short.”
     
  • UK chief negotiator Lord Frost and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier will continue trade negotiations, with Barnier tweeting “it is our responsibility to give the talks every chance of success.” He added “fair competition, and a sustainable solution for our fishermen and women, are key to reaching a deal.”
     
  • On Wednesday, the EU Council endorsed transport contingency measures to mitigate “significant disruptions” that will occur from 1 January 2021 in the event of a no deal scenario between the UK and EU.
     
  • The UK government has agreed a continuity trade agreement with Mexico to ensure businesses in both countries can continue to trade on largely the same terms as present. Read our Brexit pulse alert for more details.

Business

 

Post-Brexit UK – are you ready for the new trading environment?

We‘ve set a date for our first post-Brexit webinar of 2021, where we will reflect on the end of the transition period and discuss what the new trading environment means for the UK . We’ll explore some of the immediate impacts and practical actions business can take. You can register to join us on 8 January here.

Movement Assistance Scheme

On Wednesday, the UK government announced the launch of the Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS) which supports agri-food traders meet the requirements for moving animals, plants and associated foodstuffs from GB to NI after the transition period ends.

Farming, Fisheries and Food Minister Victoria Prentis said: “as we implement the Northern Ireland Protocol, these arrangements ensure there is unfettered access for traders and minimises the impact of these new requirements.”

UK Trader Scheme

At the start of the week, the government launched the new UK Trader Scheme (UKTS) which will help ensure traders “don’t pay tariffs on the movement of goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain where those goods remain in the UK’s customs territory.” Businesses can apply for UKTS authorisation and self-declare goods not ‘at-risk’ moving from GB to NI, ensuring they are not subject to additional tariffs.

Road haulage

According to the Road Haulage Association (RHA), the current queues at Dover and Calais are “a sign of [what will happen] when we do start to [see] checks and paperwork” after Brexit. RHA chief executive Richard Burnett told The Times “the stock building is also real, we wouldn’t normally see this level of volume.”

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