The Government has announced proposals to address the problems for GB-NI trade and its impact on goods sold in NI. Read more below

1.   What Has the UK Proposed?

  • To introduce new legislation to over ride the Northern Ireland protocol if agreement on changes cants be resolved with the EU
  • The UK has been trying to negotiate changes for months on issues such as SPS controls and conformity with EU or UK standards but those negotiations have reached an impasse


2.   What will be in the new Bill?

  • It is largely based on the Command Paper published last July which you can read here
  • However the Bill will set out general principles, the detail will follow in secondary legislation
  • It would remove all checks on goods which are destined for sale within Northern Ireland including customs and SPS
  • There will be a green lane for NI goods and red (checked) lane for goods likely to
  • UK Government has told the EU it will provide details on controls to support this, but is moving away from dedicated labelling on pack
  • Products will be permitted which meet either UK or EU product standards


3.   What are the Next Steps?

  • The Bill is likely to be published in late May/early June
  • It will take up to a year to pass through Parliament
  • BRC will co-ordinate views on the detail of the Bill


4.   What happens until the Bill or Agreement with EU is Reached?

  • Standstill processes such as STAMNI and other exemptions from requirements in the Protocol will be maintained
  • EU is likely to object but UK Government is assuring businesses it will be ok 
  • If necessary to support this UK Government may trigger Article 16 in the protocol


5.   What about the EU?

  • It has made clear its objection to unilateral action and that the Protocol was a fundamental part of the overall EU/UK trade deal
  • It is reserving its position on reaction until it has seen the Bill
  • Reaction could range from legal action to targeted tariffs on UK exports
  • Implementation of these measures unlikely to be immediate
  • Likely to also lead to more focus on EU border checks and reduced co-operation to make the original trade deal more workable