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Bord Bia’s London Office Brexit Update: 23rd October 2020

27th October 2020

Cian Hassett, UK Market, Bord Bia - The Irish Food Board


Talks over a post-Brexit trade deal have resumed in London, after negotiators returned to the table following a week-long standoff. International Trade Secretary Liz Truss insisted a deal can still be done with the EU, as officials began a new round of "intensified" daily talks. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has warned that "every day counts" ahead of a looming December deadline. He said both sides share a "huge common responsibility" as talks restarted. Negotiations stalled last week after a summit in Brussels where EU leaders called on the UK to "make the necessary moves" towards a deal. Michel Barnier and David Frost were set to meet on Friday during an "initial" renewed negotiation round running until Sunday, with subsequent talks planned in both Brussels and London.

 

Bord Bia’s Brexit Action Plan provides practical information that Irish food and drink manufacturers can utilise in order to prepare for increased complexity in future trade with the UK. It addresses actions companies should take in two scenarios: a future Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and the UK (still to be defined as it is currently under negotiation) and No Agreement, whereby the UK and EU will trade on WTO terms. Bord Bia’s support services, along with other State supports, can be found listed at the end of each chapter.

With the amount of uncertainty some business’ are currently facing in light of the upcoming end to the transition period, combined with the lack of clarity on how trade will progress between the UK and EU from January 1st 2021, the Business Continuity section of the action plan focuses on key actions to help Irish food and drink manufacturers identify, monitor and manage risks to their business in the run up to the end of the Transition Period. It also provides some tools that businesses can use to help manage risk more effectively.

This chapter of the Action Plan, covers activities that your business should be considering in respect of prospective risk exposure, including:

1.    Understand your risk profile

2.    Understand your key risks, rank these risks and assign controls

3.    Identify which risks you can control and develop appropriate strategies to manage them

4.    Develop a risk response strategy

5.    Assess suitable risk transfer strategies to mitigate the risk exposure

6.    Monitor regularly to determine the progress and effectiveness of the preventative controls

7.    Escalate the significant risks to the board or suitable level of management

There will inevitably be new risks regardless of the outcome of EU-UK negotiations at the end of 2020, and each company needs to consider appropriate actions to manage these in a suitable way. This is dependent on the nature, size and complexity of the organisation, which will impact the response to managing risks.

To learn more please visit Bord Bia’s Brexit Action Plan: Business Continuity page

What’s next – Key Dates:

Nov-Dec: Potential period for ratification of a deal and preparations for implementation OR scaling up of UK readiness to trade on WTO terms.

31st December: Transition period ends and UK reverts to trading on WTO terms if no deal is secured.

1st Jan 2021:

-       NI Protocol comes into effect

-       Phased UK Border Operating Model comes into effect – detailed record keeping required and declarations/tariffs (can be deferred up to 6 months)

1st Apr 2021: Introduction of SPS controls

1st July 2021: Full customs and SPS border controls in place