June 15, 2021

Brexit Update - June 2021 - UK and Australia Trade Deal - NI Protocol - Chilled Meat & Sausages

Free Trade Talks between New Zealand and the UK progressing

Following the conclusion of the fifth round of talks, both countries have agreed to an acceleration in negotiations to conclude a comprehensive free trade deal that will be beneficial to mutual trade, jobs, services and the green economy. Bringing the UK closer to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership that will open the door into the £9 trillion free trade area with access to over a half a billion consumers.

  • UK-New Zealand reciprocal trade is currently worth £2.3 billion (2020 figures)
  • The trade agreement should see the removal of tariffs on UK and New Zealand goods

The Battle over British sausages

At the end of June, Great Britain will be unable to export chilled sausages into the Northern Ireland, which follows the already implemented rule prohibiting chilled meat products being imported in the EU from countries outside of the European Union.

In an attempt to prevent further protests in Northern Ireland, the British government have asked the EU to extend the grace period to September 1st. The UK have threatened to unilaterally overrule the regulation and continue shipping these products after the deadline has passed. The EU has warned the UK that this could ultimately lead to additional tariffs on UK goods imported into EU countries.

The UK & Australia agree broad terms for a trade deal

On Tuesday June 15th, the United Kingdom and Australia have agreed the broad terms for a trade deal between the two countries. The deal seeks to eliminate tariffs on goods but with a 15 year transitional period. The liberalisation of certain agricultural produce will be staged in order to allow for markets to transition. The deal represents another stepping stone towards joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

If the deal can be ratified before the end of this year, this will represent the first big bilateral agreement entirely negotiated by the UK since Brexit. Other deals that have been closed were broadly based on existing arrangements that were agreed by the European Union when the UK was still a member.

Northern Ireland protocol argument

The argument between the UK and the European Union over Northern Ireland border protocol appeared to be heading towards a trade war, despite US President Joe Biden calling for compromise. During the G7 summit held last week in the UK, the British government indicated that there will be no softening of their stance. The protocol was introduced as part of the UK-EU deal to ensure that the land border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, remained open to free movement of people and goods, however, this means that regularity checks of goods arriving from the UK would need to be implemented at the border points on the Irish Sea. The UK has asked to renegotiate the protocol to avoid the deemed separation of Northern Ireland, which if implemented, would prevent certain goods shipping into NI from the UK once the rules are fully enforced and potentially threaten the peace. The UK has said that they will invoke Article 16 which makes provision to take unilateral action if the protocol gave rise to serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties.

UK agree trade deal with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein

The Free Trade Agreement previously agreed with Switzerland, who are part of the EFTA group of countries along with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, came into effect on the 1st January 2021. On the same date, a transitional roll over deal was agreed with the remining EFTA countries.

Further to some initial concerns that an agreement over a permanent Free Trade Deal could not be reached due to a proportion of Norwegian MPs objecting to parts of the text that potentially threaten Norwegian agriculture, the UK announced on Friday 4th June that a trade deal had now been agreed with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein which ensures continued cooperation and free trade going forward.

What are the benefits of the new trade deals?

NORWAY:

  • The UK is Norway’s largest trading partner, with total trade between the two worth around GBP.26.3 billion
  • Norway supplies 40% of the UK’s energy
  • 48.8% of the UK’s exports are services related.

ICELAND:

  • The UK exports to Iceland are worth GBP.604 million
  • The main export commodity that Iceland exports to the UK is fishery product worth USD.283.78 million of the USD.504.99 Million total exports.

LIECHTENSTEIN:

  • Trade in goods and services between the UK and Liechtenstein was GBP.173 million last year

  • The UK exports to Liechtenstein is valued at GBP.166 million.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

UK one step closer to joining CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership)
The UK now looking away from their natural trading partner the EU, the CPTPP is now firmly in their sights. On Wednesday 2nd June, following an online meeting of the 11 member nations of the pact agreement was reached that facilitates Britain to start the process of joining.

The CPTPP removes 95% of tariffs within the pact, the membership consists of: Japan, Canada, Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, Peru, Brunei, Chile and Malaysia

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