Reviewed in November 2020Content will be updated as negotiations develop.

Latest News

5th November 2020
Ireland/Northern Ireland Specialised Committee Meeting

The fourth meeting of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Specialised Committee was held on 5 November 2020, co-chaired by officials from the UK Government and the European Commission. 

The UK and the EU exchanged updates on the implementation of the Protocol. For more information, click here.

8th October 2020
Brexit Readiness Checklist 

This checklist is for businesses based in Ireland.

The Brexit Readiness Checklist highlights some of the key actions that businesses can take to get ready for the changes Brexit will bring from 1 January 2020. The checklist includes links to the relevant Agencies who can provide the necessary guidance and support to businesses. 

28th September 2020
Trader Support Service (TSS)

This plan is for businesses based in Northern Ireland. 

The Trader Support Service is now open and you can register for this free service today. Sign up now to help ensure that you are ready for 1 January 2021. 

If you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Trader Support Service will guide you through any changes due to the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. 

9th September 2020
Ireland Brexit Readiness Action Plan

This plan is for businesses based in Ireland. 

The Brexit Readiness Action Plan sets out the steps that businesses and individuals need to take now, to be ready for the end of the Transition Period on 31 December 2020. 

7th August 2020
Moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol

This Protocol applies to businesses based in both Ireland and Northern Ireland.

16th July 2020 EUROPEAN COMMISSION: Getting ready for the end of the transition period

Even if the European Union and the United Kingdom conclude a highly ambitious partnership covering all areas agreed in the Political Declaration by the end of 2020, the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU acquis, the internal market and the Customs Union, at the end of the transition period will inevitably create barriers to trade and cross-border exchanges that do not exist today. There will be broad and far-reaching consequences for public administrations, businesses and citizens as of 1 January 2021, regardless of the outcome of negotiations. These changes are unavoidable and stakeholders must make sure they are ready for them. 

20th May 2020
The UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol

This information outlines how the Protocol can be implemented in a way that would protect the interests of the people and economy of Northern Ireland, ensure the effective working of the UK’s internal market, provide appropriate protection for the EU Single Market and uphold the rights of all Northern Ireland’s citizens.

19th May 2020
UK tariffs from 1 January 2021

From 1 January 2021, the UK will apply a UK-specific tariff to imported goods. This UK Global Tariff (UKGT) will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff, which applies until 31 December 2020. You can check what the tariff applies to, how to check the tariff and tariff relief on some goods for tackling coronavirus (COVID-19).  For SME’s based in Ireland use the UK Global Tariff tool to check the tariffs that will apply to goods you import from 1 January 2021.

November Webinars 

For more information on Brexit we have provided a list of webinars taking place in the month of November.

Monday 16th November 2020 @ 2.00pm

EU Exit: Changes to Chemicals Regimes REACH/CLP/PIC

Invest NI

Friday 20th November 2020 @ 10.30am

EU Exit: Changes to Chemical Regimes BPR/PPP/POPs

Invest NI

Brexit 2020 Update 

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. There is now a transition period until the end of 2020.The transition period critically gives businesses the opportunity to prepare for a new trading relationship. The current rules on trade will continue to apply during the transition period.

The Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol ensures no custom controls on North/South trade in goods and Northern Ireland will remain aligned with the EU Custom Code, including laws for VAT. Northern Ireland will also align with specific EU rules in areas such as technical regulation of goods, agriculture and environmental production, regulation and state-aid. Goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland won’t be subject to a tariff unless the good is “at risk” of being moved into the EU.

InterTradeIreland will keep you informed as changes emerge. In the meantime, to help you prepare we’ll continue to offer support and advice to cross-border traders.

You might have a few questions…

What is the transition period?

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. During the transition period (until 31 December 2020) the UK is being treated as if it is an EU Member State. This means no Customs checks or paperwork during this time for trade between the EU and UK. This period allows for EU-UK trade negotiations and for businesses to prepare for a new trading relationship – whether a trade agreement or no trade agreement.  

What is a free trade agreement?

These are complex agreements which in simple terms make it easier to trade goods (and sometimes services) between countries. Ways of doing this include little or no government tariffs (taxes on imports and exports), quotas (limits on the amount of goods that can be traded), subsidies (benefits) and more.

When the UK was part of the EU it did not need a free trade agreement, but as the UK is technically not a member of the EU (as of 31st January 2020) it means the UK is able to negotiate and sign trade deals around the world. One of the priorities of the transition period is to agree a UK and EU trade deal.

What is the Northern Ireland protocol?

The Northern Ireland protocol is a name given to a new approach which replaces the backstop (which was to ensure no hard borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland, if no formal Brexit deal was reached). Now that a deal has been reached, the Northern Ireland protocol sets out the future relationship on regulations, customs duties, VAT and consent. 

What is consent?

Four years after the end of the transition period, the UK must provide the Northern Ireland Assembly with the opportunity to give consent to the trade elements of the protocol, for example on goods and customs, the Single Electricity Market, VAT and state aid. Every four years afterwards, the UK will provide an opportunity for democratic consent to these ongoing arrangements in the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive, within the framework set by the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement. If consent is withheld, the arrangements will not enter into force or will lapse (as the case may be) after one year, and arrangements will default to existing rules.

What are the important dates?

Here are some of the most important dates for Brexit from March 2020 onwards.

march 3 2020

Future EU and UK relationship negotiations begin. A free trade agreement one of the most important priorities.

June 2020

A summit is due to take place to assess the negotiation developments. A decision needs to be made if there will be an extension to the transition period.

November 26 2020

A trade deal must be negotiated, checked, translated and presented to the European Parliament if it is to be passed by the 31st December 2020. 

December 1 2020

The new UK immigration system will open for applicants who are seeking to enter the UK from 1 January 2021.

December 31 2020

Transition period ends. If a trade deal has not been agreed the EU and UK will likely trade on WTO rules. This means import duties and various controls imposed on trade between the UK and the EU.

What do you need to do now?

We recommend that cross-border traders undertake an in-depth supply chain analysis and explore the onward destination of their product. We’ve created a free bitesize guide to supply chain, covering these recommended actions and much more.

Send us your questions and feedback