Documents to download

Under the terms of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland agreed between the EU and the UK as part of the Withdrawal Agreement, Northern Ireland has a unique status. It is part of the UK’s customs territory but is subject to the EU’s customs code, VAT rules and single market rules for goods, including sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) rules to protect animal, plant and public health. The EU and the UK have disagreed over how to implement some of these rules, particularly for goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. Discussions between the two sides have been ongoing.

In July 2021, the UK Government published proposals for a “new balance” in the protocol. The EU has said it will continue to engage with the UK on practical solutions for implementing the protocol but that it will not renegotiate the protocol. Various grace periods that have allowed for delays in fully implementing aspects of the protocol are due to expire this autumn.

On 13 September 2021, the House of Lords is due to debate two committee reports about the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. The first report, from the European Union Committee, was published in June 2020, before the protocol came into operation. The second, from the newly appointed European Affairs Committee and its sub-committee on the protocol, was published in July 2021, assessing the protocol’s impact in its first few months of operation.


Documents to download

Related posts

  • National Insurance Contributions Bill

    The bill would introduce national insurance relief schemes for employers based in freeport tax sites, as well as for employers of ex-service personnel. The bill also makes other provisions around national insurance. This briefing considers: the background to the bill; what it would do and what happened during its passage through the House of Commons.

    National Insurance Contributions Bill
  • Social care funding: a rise in national insurance

    On 7 September 2021, the Government announced plans to increase the funding of health and social care through a new tax: the health and social care levy. The levy will be based on a rise in national insurance and will raise £12 billion a year on average over the next three years. Many commentators have raised concerns that this approach is unfair on younger people and low earners.

    Social care funding: a rise in national insurance
  • UK visa and immigration policies for EU and EEA citizens

    Since freedom of movement ended, EU and EEA citizens coming to the UK since 1 January 2021 are subject to immigration controls and the UK’s new points-based immigration system. EU and EEA citizens who were living in the UK before that date were eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to enable them to remain here. This article looks at key features of both schemes and the impact of the changes.

    UK visa and immigration policies for EU and EEA citizens