Brexit Image by DANIEL DIAZ from Pixabay
Image by DANIEL DIAZ from Pixabay

Cian Hassett, Global Graduate, Bord Bia – The Irish Food Board

Bord Bia’s Supply Chain Advantage Workshop

Registration for Bord Bia’s first Supply Chain workshop of 2020, led by our UK Supply Chain consultant Simply Supply Chain, has opened. This half-day workshop will be held on Friday 24th January in Bord Bia’s Creative Workshop and follows on from the Supply Chain Optimisation Workshop held in October, focusing on developing UK customer advantage in the Supply Chain.

To join us, sign up here

Boris Johnson accused of ‘brinkmanship’ by EU trade chief

EU’s trade chief, Phil Hogan, has accused Boris Johnson of Brexit “brinkmanship”, complaining that the British PM’s approach to trade negotiations was creating uncertainty for business. Mr. Hogan said that Johnson’s determination not to extend Britain’s post-Brexit transition period beyond the end of this year had unwisely created an end of 2020 deadline for the EU and UK to make a trade deal. He also warned that it would be legally very difficult for Britain to change its mind and request an extension later on, even if it eventually became clear to both sides that more time was needed.

The comments emphasise the EU’s conviction that it will prove impossible to construct a full future relationship with the UK in the 11 months between January 31st and the end of the year when the arrangements created by the transition period will expire.

EU ramps up Brexit demands

At a seminar on Tuesday, France and other governments said Britain should be forced to stay in sync with EU environmental regulations, mimicking upgrades to EU law that are set to happen over the years to come. The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michael Barnier, has repeatedly stated that Boris Johnson’s ambition of a tariff-free, quota-free deal hinges on accepting the proposed “level-playing field”. The EU insists that tougher obligations are justified by the size of the EU-UK economic relationship, by geographical proximity, and because Brussels has never done a zero-tariff deal with another major economic power. But UK officials retort that Mr. Johnson is not seeking anything that resembles membership of the EU single market and that existing EU trade deals, such as its agreement with Canada, should serve as a precedent.

Boris Johnson admits UK might not strike an EU trade deal this year

The UK Prime Minister has admitted there is a “slim chance” that Britain will not agree with a trade deal with the EU before the self-imposed 31st December deadline. Mr. Johnson said during his December election campaign that the chance of a no-deal occurring was “absolutely zero”, but in his first media interview of the year, he has conceded that he may have some doubts. His comments will cause some concerns within the business community which has fears that Britain will have to start trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation terms in January 2021, including tariffs, increased paperwork and delays at major ports.

CBI urges government to include business in post-Brexit trade talks

Businesses need to be brought into the UK’s post-Brexit trade talks with the EU and US, according to Britain’s largest employers’ group, which has drawn up a series of recommendations to try influence upcoming negotiations. In a report released last Monday, the CBI called on the UK government to work closely and comprehensively with businesses throughout all stages of negotiations all the way through to implementations. Business leaders are concerned that the UK won’t move fast enough to secure a trade deal with the EU before the end of the transition period in December. Failure to agree on a deal will expose businesses to a no-deal Brexit involving border disruption and costly tariffs, along with uncertainty over the data transfer.

Key Dates

31st January 2020: Current “Brexit Day” – Trade talks can begin within weeks after this date.

30th June 2020: Deadline for the UK and EU to extend the transition period

31st December 2020: If a trade deal has been agreed by this date, a new relationship with the EU starts. Otherwise, the UK exits the transition period without a trade deal.