UK Trade with EU: Northern Ireland

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 4th June 2020.

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Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to page 13 of his Department's publication, The UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, whether each animal and agri-food product moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will require an Export Health Certificate.

Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent estimate his Department has made of the proportion of goods consignments from Great Britain to Northern Ireland that contain agri-food products.

Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the UK's approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, published on 20 May 2020, whether the proposals set out in paragraph 19, page 10 require a derogation from the Union Customs Code; and whether the Government will seek such an agreement.

Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to p11 (25) of the UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, if he will outline what constitutes a genuine and substantial risk; and what estimate he has made of the proportion of goods will be charged under that definition.

Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans to publish guidance for businesses and third parties on the UK's Approach to the Protocol.

Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether (a) entry summary (safety and security) declaration, (b) customs checks, (c) regulatory checks, (d) export or exit summary declarations for goods and (e) Rules of Origin requirements and checks will be required for relevant parties or goods trading between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate the Government has made of the volume of the proportion of consignments that will be checked between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the new electronic important declaration requirement referenced in the UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol already exists; and whether development work has begun on that declaration requirement.

Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to paragraph 57, p19 of the UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, what estimate of the proportion of goods on which duties will be levied was the assumption that tariffs will be relatively small made.

Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt Paymaster General

I refer the Hon Member to the oral statement - accompanying the publication of the Government Command Paper, the UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol - which was made by my Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 20 May. I also refer to the commitment in the Command Paper, to publishing further detailed information and guidance. These will be published in due course.

As the Command Paper, The UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, sets out explicitly, we are clear that there should be no tariffs on internal goods movements because the UK - as the Protocol acknowledges - is a single customs territory. The paper outlines several examples of movements that pose no risk of movement into the EU Single Market - such as a supermarket delivering to its stores in NI. This is a principle to be formalised in the Joint Committee, but as the Command Paper makes clear we consider there to be various ways of making it work in practice. We will work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive and businesses to develop these proposals, and produce full guidance to business and third parties before the end of the transition period.

On unfettered access, the Protocol is clear that nothing in it prevents Northern Ireland business enjoying unfettered access to the rest of the UK internal market, and we will legislate to guarantee this by the end of the year.

On agri-food, the Government's approach builds on the long-standing status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological zone. As has long been acknowledged, some checks on agri-food will be required to help protect supply chains and the disease-free status of the island of Ireland. These will build on the existing precedents of agri-food checks for live animals arriving in Northern Ireland, from the rest of the UK. Further details are to be discussed with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee.

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