Brexit Standstill Agreement

The United Kingdom was entitled to request a single extension of the transition period (up to “1 or 2 years” until the end of December 2021 or December 2022) until 1 July 2020. However, the Prime Minister confirmed in June that the UK would not make such a request. Negotiations with the EU have therefore been intensified in order to reach an agreement by the end of the year. After missing a series of deadlines to reach an agreement and significant differences remain on key negotiating issues, Boris Johnson said on December 10 that there was a “high probability” that the UK and the EU would not reach an agreement. He said it was time for the public and businesses to prepare for this scenario on January 1, 2021. In the absence of an agreement, trade between the UK and the EU will revert to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and current cooperation agreements in several areas will be interrupted. The Common Travel Area is an agreement that means that British and Irish citizens can move freely without the need for passport controls between the Republic of Ireland and the UK. It also grants Irish citizens special status under British law. As a result, Irish citizens are considered to have permission to reside in the UK indefinitely if they settle there. Basically, this also includes the right to work in both jurisdictions.

Disagree – still a threat? All this means that the risk of a no-deal exit will now shift towards the end of the transition period if no agreement can be reached on the future relationship. Trade with the EU on WTO terms at the end of this period could mean significant tariffs for both sides (unless the UK unilaterally waives tariffs on certain goods for another period) as well as customs and regulatory controls at borders. The terms of trade in goods to Northern Ireland have already been agreed in the Withdrawal Agreement. However, the call for a series of grace periods and status quo agreements reflects the growing desperation of British businesses in the face of the current Brexit impasse. “The rolling deadlines have left too many critical questions for the company unanswered,” the document says. “It is now impossible for many companies to be ready on January 1. The agreement is unusual; it does not announce a closer commercial relationship, but a separation of paths. The details have not yet been fully known, although most of what is included in the deal is now known. For a level playing field, both sides agreed that an independent arbitrator should decide whether future regulatory differences are sufficiently detrimental to allow retaliation through tariffs. In the case of fish, the EU will retain access for just over five years, but with a 25% reduction in quotas; after that, future agreements will require negotiations. And there will be a dispute settlement system that does not provide for a role for the European Court of Justice, with the exception of the interpretation of EU law. Now that these three points have been clarified, the introduction of a tariff-free, quota-free free trade agreement is a success for Mr Johnson.

(When it comes to merchandise trade, this is a better deal than Canada with the EU, the model it favors; but it involves stricter obligations to maintain a level playing field.) Trade agreements – but what will they cover? The political declaration with the EU (which is not legally binding) provides for a “Super Canada” agreement: an ambitious free trade agreement based on Canada`s recent trade agreement with the EU that offers “no tariffs, fees, levies or quantitative restrictions” in exchange for “strong commitments” to create a level playing field in key areas such as competition, State aid, labour, the environment and taxation. If implemented, it would give the UK more leeway for future regulatory divergences than was envisaged in (then) Prime Minister Theresa May`s initial statement. This implies that future trade will not run smoothly, with the extent of regulatory controls at borders depending on the extent to which the UK wishes to deviate from EU rules in key areas. As European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on a recent trip to London: “The more differences there are, the further away the partnership must be.” The UK will leave the single market and customs union on 31 December 2020 at 23:00 GMT. This would be the case both within the framework of the UK government`s stated objective of a free trade agreement with the EU and if no agreement is reached. With just days to go before the end of the Brexit transition period, it is still unclear whether there will be a new deal between the UK and the EU at its end. But some things will change, whether there is an agreement or not. This briefing note presents the main changes and preparations of the UK and the EU On 10 December, the Commission published its emergency measures in the event of the absence of a new EU-UK agreement at the end of the transition period.

The government has also previously published a list of international non-trade agreements it wants to negotiate to replace eu agreements. However, it did not provide updated information on the status of these agreements. “The UK and individual EU member states could try to conclude bilateral agreements on the recognition of professional qualifications (only possible if a free trade agreement between the UK and the EU allows for such an agreement),” the IWC said. The Commission stressed that emergency measures could not ensure continuity or replicate the benefits of EU membership or the transition period. Nor can they foresee a situation as advantageous as the partnership agreement that the EU is proposing to the UK would provide. The POST-BREXIT agreement announced on 24th December by Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, and Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, arrived extremely late for Christmas. It is also painfully close to the end of the transition period to the status quo on 31 December. It falls short of the first-class comprehensive free trade agreement that Mr Johnson promised. And costly disruptions to today`s frictionless trade are inevitable when Britain leaves the EU`s single market and customs union on January 1. Nevertheless, the agreement is welcome. It will at least provide a basis for the establishment of other agreements.

The impact on businesses would be similar to a no-deal Brexit, and it will be important that contingency plans are maintained to mitigate the economic (and political) impact. In reality, the UK could request a new staggered transition period to avoid a regulatory precipice if no deal is reached with the EU. However, there is still a risk of negotiations failing and the issue of the EU`s future access to UK fishing waters is likely to be particularly controversial. Stop – but for how long? The EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 (CI-DPA) provides for a transitional period or standstill period during which EU law will continue to apply to the UK as if the UK were still a Member State (subject to certain limited exceptions). This means that the UK will continue to act as if it were part of the EU`s single market and customs union, although it will no longer play any role in the EU`s decision-making process. Presenting the Commission`s proposal for a directive for the UK-EU negotiations in February 2020, the EU`s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said the UK and the EU now have two separate markets, even with a top-notch free trade agreement. Brexit Minister David Frost told Parliament on July 21 that London wanted to renegotiate the protocol and called for a standstill period that would extend current grace periods for trade between Britain and Northern Ireland and freeze existing EU prosecutions. A further extension could be possible until the end of the year if more time is needed to conclude a trade deal, but this would be legally and politically problematic on both sides.

It would also require an agreement on a continued UK financial contribution to the EU budget and raise important budgetary issues for the EU-27. The EU`s international agreements will no longer apply to the UK at the end of the transition period. The government has negotiated new or replacement trade agreements covering 58 countries previously covered by EU trade agreements. Talks with nine countries on possible replacement agreements will continue. A separate standstill regime for data flow is also proposed if no agreement is reached on data adequacy before the end of the transition period. Even if the two sides reach such an agreement, the document says a “transition mechanism” will be needed to avoid “a temporary data cliff edge.” POLITICO has already reported on some of the interim measures under discussion by the EU and the UK that are similar to this IWC proposal. “As regards the request for dismantling, the Commission will carefully consider the UK`s new proposals in accordance with the necessary consultation procedures both internally and with the European Parliament,” a Commission spokeswoman said. The document, which politico was able to see, calls on both sides to agree on a six-month grace period for traders “who have made mistakes in their customs documents” and recommends, if there is a free trade agreement, a grace period of “at least one year” for companies to comply with the rules of origin.

the complex criteria used to determine the national origin of a good or parts of a product. This is a particular concern for the automotive industry. If no agreement is reached between Brussels and London on the recognition of qualifications, this would contradict a joint statement issued after the Irish and British governments agreed on a memorandum of understanding on CTA. This statement states that both parties “recognize that the recognition of qualifications, including professional qualifications, is an essential intermediary of the right to work associated with the CTA”. BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Tuesday it would not move to the next stage of its legal action against Britain for unilaterally amending trade agreements for Northern Ireland in response to Britain`s call for a “status quo”. .