EU Exit – First meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee

Date : 10 June 2021

The EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee met in London for the first time on 09 June. Discussion focused on operation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, especially with regard to movement of agri-food goods.

The communique issued by Lord Frost, the senior UK representative, suggests that little substantive progress was made on these issues, although talks remain open.

The corresponding communique from Maros Sefcovic, the EU representative, suggests that the EU remains committed to the Protocol as it has been agreed, with little enthusiasm for change.

Mr Sefcovic also warned explicitly that the EU would act swiftly, in the event that the UK does not keep to its treaty obligations.

The White House has published documents suggesting that President Biden takes a similar view and will support the implementation of the Protocol, as it stands.

Based on talks so far, businesses moving agri-food goods from GB to NI should not assume that there will be any further easements or any extensions of current easements.

Extensive guidance is available online from the UK government and cash support is also available via the Movement Assistance Scheme. The long-term future for supplying food into Northern Ireland remains under question.

More economic news and analysis