EEA EFTA Separation Agreement Joint Committee Meeting, 27 May 2021

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written statement – made on 20th July 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The EEA EFTA Separation Agreement, which was agreed with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, and signed on 28 January 2020, covers citizens’ rights and other separation provisions. These provisions wind down certain arrangements that the UK had with the EEA EFTA States by virtue of their participation in the Single Market and other EU-led initiatives. The Separation Agreement established a Joint Committee whose primary role is to supervise and facilitate the implementation and application of the Separation Agreement, with the power to make decisions. The Joint Committee has a rotating chair which is currently held by Iceland.

The second meeting of the Joint Committee took place on 27 May 2021, by video conference. Each of the Parties gave an update on implementation and application of the Separation Agreement, and reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring the citizens’ rights provisions are upheld for those in scope. The Independent Monitoring Authority and the EFTA Surveillance Authority also attended to give updates on their monitoring and complaints handling functions required by the Separation Agreement.

The Joint Committee adopted a Decision to amend Part I of Annex I of the Separation Agreement to reflect decisions taken by the EU’s Administrative Commission for the Coordination of Social Security Systems that have also been incorporated into the EEA Agreement. The Decision of the Joint Committee ensures the Separation Agreement reflects the latest position under the EEA Agreement. These decisions concern the interpretation of relevant social security coordination, including on data processing and exchange. They do not impact the rights provided for in the Separation Agreement. Full detail on and copies of this Decision have been deposited in the House of Libraries.

The Joint Committee will meet at least annually, with Liechtenstein holding the next rotating chair. The next meeting is expected to take place in 2022. I commit to updating parliament immediately following future meetings of the Joint Committee where Decisions are taken.