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EU Commission to make €50million available to Irish beef farmers

by Politicker 0 Comments

On the 20 June 2019, the EU Commission, in a press release, stated that €50 million would be made available to Irish beef farmers and this can be matched by national funds to reach a maximum of €100 million.

(Is this State Aid to subsidise Irish Beef Farmers ?)

The establishment of the fund reflects the Commission recognition of the particular challenges facing the Irish beef and veal sector due to market uncertainty and an unprecedented and sustained period of low prices. This exceptional measure, provided under the Common Market Organisation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), will offer support to the Irish farmers affected.

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Ireland’s beef and veal sector is both large and hugely dependent on exports. Five of every six tonnes of beef produced is exported and almost 50% of these exports are to the United Kingdom. Uncertainty around the withdrawal of the United Kingdom is putting downward pressure on prices, deteriorating further the situation of beef producers in Ireland

Full Press Release is available at

Member States agree to Commission proposal to support Irish beef producers impacted by market uncertainty

ip-19-3324_en_200619 (pdf)

Progress during Phase 1 Negotiations with the EU

A Joint Report, consisting of 15 pages covering 96 points, has been released by the teams involved in the negotiations between the UK and EU regarding the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The EU has demanded that discussions are held in 2 phases with no progression to the 2nd phase of negotiations (primarily the future relationship between the UK and the EU) until topics defined under their Phase 1 agenda have been concluded.

Both parties have reached agreement in principle in the areas under consideration in the first phase of negotiations, with the UK having conceded to all the demands from the EU.

  • Protecting the rights of UK citizens in the EU and EU citizens in the UK
  • A framework for addressing the unique circumstances in Northern Ireland
  • The financial settlement

Citizens Rights

The role of the CJEU in maintaing Citizens Rights remains unclear. Does the following indicate that the UK will have to refer to CJEU rulings for 8 years after the UK leaves the EU?

Page 6, Paragraph 38

In the context of the application or interpretation of those rights, UK courts shall therefore have due regard to relevant decisions of the CJEU after the specified date. The Agreement should also establish a mechanism enabling UK courts or tribunals to decide, having had due regard to whether relevant case-law exists, to ask the CJEU questions of interpretation of those rights where they consider that a CJEU ruling on the question is necessary for the UK court or tribunal to be able to give judgment in a case before it.

As regards the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme, it looks as though this will only apply to UK citizens who are in an EU country (and vice-versa) on the “specified date of leaving” and will not be carried forward in the future when UK citizens are travelling abroad.

Page 5, Paragraph 29,

Rules for healthcare, including the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme, will follow Regulation (EC) No 883/2004. Persons whose competent state is the UK and are in the EU27 on the specified date (and vice versa) – whether on a temporary stay or resident – continue to be eligible for healthcare reimbursement, including under the EHIC scheme, as long as that stay, residence or treatment continues.

Ireland and Northern Ireland

The UK confirms the committment that NI will remain an integral part of the UK.

Page 7, Paragraph 44

The United Kingdom continues to respect and support fully Northern Ireland’s position as an integral part of the United Kingdom, consistent with the principle of consent.

The UK hope to ensure that there is no hard border created between Northern Ireland (NI) and Ireland following discussions between the UK and the EU in the next Phase of negotiations. The wording in this Joint report has been carefully constructed to ensure acceptance by representatives of NI and the Irish Government. “full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union” would appear to come into effect if there is no agreement reached during Phase 2 negotiations.

Page 8, Paragraphs 49,50

49. The United Kingdom remains committed to protecting North-South cooperation and to its guarantee of avoiding a hard border. Any future arrangements must be compatible with these overarching requirements. The United Kingdom’s intention is to achieve these objectives through the overall EU-UK relationship. Should this not be possible, the United Kingdom will propose specific solutions to address the unique circumstances of the island of Ireland. In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North-South cooperation, the all island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement.

50. In the absence of agreed solutions, as set out in the previous paragraph, the United Kingdom will ensure that no new regulatory barriers develop between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, unless, consistent with the 1998 Agreement, the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly agree that distinct arrangements are appropriate for Northern Ireland. In all circumstances, the United Kingdom will continue to ensure the same unfettered access for Northern Ireland’s businesses to the whole of the United Kingdom internal market.

Financial Settlement

The UK and EU have agreed a methodology to determine the financial settlement demanded by the EU.

  • The UK will contribute to, and participate in, the implementation of the Union annual budgets for the years 2019 and 2020 as if it had remained in the EU
  • Outstanding commitments at the end of 2020, Reste à liquider (RAL) 1. The UK will contribute its share of the financing of the budgetary commitments outstanding at 31 December 2020 (RAL).
  • Liabilities, contingent liabilities and corresponding assets. The UK will contribute its share of the financing of the Union’s liabilities incurred before 31 December 2020 except for liabilities with corresponding assets and any assets and liabilities which are related to the operation of the budget and the Own Resources Decision

Many questions remain unanswered with no specific figure mentioned or when payment(s) will be demanded.

Will the UK will still receive the rebate from its “GNI based Own Resources” gross contributions?

It is interesting to note that the EU have already specified their own repayment program of 12 YEARS! regarding repayment of funds (paid-in capital) due to the UK from the European Investment Bank. Perhaps the UK should suggest a long repayment period of small amounts each year over a similar time period.

European Investment Bank.
The UK will provide a guarantee for an amount equal to its callable capital on the day of withdrawal. The EU will take 12 years to return the UK’s share of the paid-in capital (3.5 billion euro) at a rate of 300,000,000 euro for the first 11 years and a final payment of 195,903,950 euro in year 12, 2019 – 2030.

There is no mention of a share of the accumulated profits of the EIB which are worth a total of around 44.5 billion euro (cfr. https://politick.co.uk/the-uk-and-the-european-investment-bank-eib/ ) and would provide a share to the UK worth around 7.0 billion euro. In fact, the report specifically excludes any further remuneration.

Page 13, Paragraph 77

77. Apart from these reimbursements, the EIB will not make any other payment, return or remuneration on account of the withdrawal of the UK from the EIB or on account of the provision by the UK of a guarantee.

There is also mention about paying towards the relocation of the EU Agencies currently based in London. (Typical of the EU attempting to screw as much money as possible from the UK)

Page 14, Paragraph 86

86. The Commission welcomes the UK Government’s offer to discuss with Union Agencies located in London how they might facilitate their relocation, in particular as regards reducing the withdrawal costs.

At least the final item does mention that the report is dependent on an overall agreement on the UK’s Withdrawal and a framework for the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

Page 15, Paragraph 96

This report is put forward with a view to the meeting of the European Council (Article 50) of 14 and 15 December 2017. It is also agreed by the UK on the condition of an overall agreement under Article 50 on the UK’s withdrawal, taking into account the framework for the future relationship, including an agreement as early as possible in 2018 on transitional arrangements.

The document can be found in it’s entirety at

Joint report on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU

With a copy that can be downloaded from HERE (pdf)

What’s next?

This report summarises the key points which can be used in a formal Withdrawal Agreement when the UK leaves the EU.

It appears highly likely, that following publication of this report, there is a strong possibility of the negotiations being allowed (by the EU) to progress to the next Phase (2) of negotiations where the future relationship between the UK and the EU will be decided (by the EU) discussed. One of the important discussions during the next Phase will, of course, be a Future Trade relationship between the UK and the EU.

References

In order to understand some of the details mentioned in the section of the Financial Settlement there is an interesting post

The UK’s Brexit bill: what are the possible liabilities?

which was written in March 2017 and contains a description of some of the terms used in the Report.

Bruegel is a European think tank that specialises in economics.

Notes:

  1. What is the “reste à liquider” (RAL)?
    The RAL is the sum of outstanding commitments, commitments agreed to but that have not yet translated into payments. Long term budgetary commitments lead to the existence of amounts of commitments remaining to be paid out (RAL). The phenomenon is similar to when a contract is signed, e.g. to build a house, the commitment is being made, but the construction company will only be paid according to the progress of the work.

Documents related to Brexit from the EU Parliament

I came across a number of interesting documents related to Brexit that have been produced following various Events, Workshops and Committee meetings held by the European Parliament. They provide interesting reading and background to positions held by the EU regarding the Brexit negotiations and the future relationship between the UK and the EU after Brexit.

Workshops are organised by the policy departments and enable members to put questions to and exchange views with experts on subjects associated with parliamentary business or subjects of current interest. They are not necessarily held in public but may be held during a committee meeting.

Hearings
A committee is permitted to organise a hearing with experts, where this is considered essential to its work on a particular subject. Hearings can also be held jointly by two or more committees. Most committees organise regular hearings, as they allow them to hear from experts and hold discussions on the key issues.

Implications of ‘Brexit’ for the EU agri-food sector and the CAP

This workshop was held on 9 November 2017 and discussed the issue of the impact of Brexit on the EU’s agri-food sector and on the CAP.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/events-workshops.html?id=20171114WKS01121

It looked at 3 specific aspects of Brexit:

  1. Impact on the CAP budget
  2. Impact on EU-UK agricultural trade flows and
  3. Possible transitional arrangements in agriculture in light of the future EU-UK relationship.

A number of documents were produced:

Possible impact of Brexit on the EU budget and, in particular, CAP funding – Jacques Delors Institute

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/132065/PPT_CAP_Financing_EN.pdf (pdf)

EU – UK agricultural trade: State of play and possible impacts of Brexit – CIREM-CEPII

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/132066/PPT_EU-UK%20Trade_EN.pdf (pdf)

Possible transitional arrangements related to agriculture in the light of the future EU – UK relationship: institutional issues – Trinity College Dublin

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/132067/PPT%20Template%20-%20A%20MATTHEWSrev.pdf (pdf)

The implications of Brexit on the Irish border

During the 28 November meeting of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, a workshop was held on ‘The implications of Brexit on the Irish border’. This workshop was organised by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/events-workshops.html?id=20171123WKS01141

Brexit and Ireland – Legal, Political and Economic Considerations (pdf)

Smart Border 2.0 – Avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland for Customs control and the free movement of persons (pdf)

PowerPoint Presentation on Smart Border 2.0 (ppt)

UK Withdrawal (‘Brexit’) and the Good Friday Agreement (pdf)

PowerPoint Presentation on ‘UK Withdrawal (‘Brexit’) and the Good Friday Agreement’ (ppt)

Hearing on the Impact of Brexit on Aviation – 11 July 2017

High level representatives in the field of aviation were invited to speak in the next TRAN Committee meeting on the topic of Brexit. Stakeholders discussed ways in which the UK’s departure from the EU is likely to impact the aviation industry from the perspective of the airports, the airlines and the tourism industry as a whole. The presentations were followed by a question and answer session with Members

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/events-hearings.html?id=20170705CHE02242

Hearing on the impact of Brexit on aviation (docx)

Kevin Toland, Dublin Airport (pdf)

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair (pptx)

Ralf Pastleitner, TUI Group (pdf)

Exchange of Views with Associations of Citizens on Brexit

held on 21 Nov 2017

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/events-other.html?id=20171123EOT01882

Statement from British in Europe (pdf)

Statement from the 3 million (pdf)

Brexit and the issue of the jurisdiction

During the AFCO meeting of 21 November, the Committee heard from two experts during the workshop ‘Brexit and the issue of the jurisdiction over the Withdrawal Agreement and the future relationship agreement between the EU and the UK’ organised by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/events-other.html?id=20171123EOT01881

The Settlement of Disputes arising from the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (pdf)

Professor Steve Peers presented a briefing on “Jurisdiction upon and after the UK’s withdrawal: the perspective from the UK constitutional order” (I couldn’t find a copy of this – politicker)

UK Position Paper – Northern Ireland and Ireland

This document, a Postion Paper prepared by the UK Government, outlines the UK’s position on addressing the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland and Ireland in light of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. It sets out the UK’s proposals in the following areas

  • Upholding the Belfast (‘Good Friday’) Agreement in all its parts
  • The UK proposes that the Withdrawal Agreement confirms that the current substantive position is not changed as a result of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and that both parties recognise that it will remain unchanged

  • Maintaining the Common Travel Area and associated rights
  • The Common Travel Area (CTA) is a special border-free zone comprising the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man and was created before either the UK or Ireland were members of the EU. The CTA arose to facilitate the principle of free movement for British and Irish citizens between the UK, Ireland and the Islands, and the reciprocal enjoyment of rights and entitlements to public services of citizens when in the other’s state.

    The UK proposes that the UK and the EU seek to agree text for the Withdrawal Agreement that recognises the ongoing status of the CTA and associated reciprocal arrangements following the UK’s exit from the EU. The UK believes that this proposal is consistent with the European Commission’s directives

  • Avoiding a hard border for the movement of goods
  • The UK Government’s clear priority in devising new border arrangements is to respect the strong desire from all parties and all parts of the community in Northern Ireland and Ireland to avoid any return to a hard border, and to maintain as seamless and frictionless a border as possible including customs arrangements.

  • Aiming to preserve North-South and East-West cooperation, including for energy
  • The UK proposes that the UK and the EU should focus in the initial phases of the dialogue on reaching a common understanding of the principles of North-South and East-West cooperation. It is important that the negotiations achieve the objective of upholding the Belfast (‘Good Friday’) Agreement itself, and also that, crucially, the UK and the EU do not do anything to obstruct the existing, wide range of cooperation between Northern Ireland, Ireland and Great Britain in the future partnership.

An in-depth discussion of these topics is described in the published document available from

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/northern-ireland-and-ireland-a-position-paper

and the actual paper is available at

Northern Ireland and Ireland POSITION PAPER (pdf)

The Government also issued 2 additional papers.

Common Travel Area Data and Statistics covers the available data relating to the movement of people withing the Common Travel Area between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Ireland as of August 2017.

Common Travel Area Data and Statistics (pdf)

This document shows an estimate of cross border traffic between Northern Ireland and Ireland of around 110,000,000 people crossing annually and more than 15.4 million crossings between the UK and Ireland made by air or ferry transport. Trips are made for work and study, shopping, visiting friends and family, holidays and business trips. A number of people have a daily commute across the border.

Northern Ireland Trade Data and Statistics covers the available trade data and statistics relating to Northern Ireland as of August 2017. It covers

  • Value of trade between Northern Ireland, Ireland and Great Britain
  • Characteristics of exporting businesses in Northern Ireland
  • Volumes of freight to and from Northern Ireland
  • Agriculture and food cross-border supply chains

Northern Ireland Trade Data and Statistics (pdf)

Data from the Office of National Statistics show that the UK had an overall trade surplus with Ireland of £7 billion (£25.7 billion or 5% of UK exports, £18.7 billion or 3% of UK imports) in 2015. The majority of UK exports to Ireland were trade in goods, worth some £16.8 billion, while UK imports of goods from Ireland were worth £12.8 billion.

Other References:

Pledge to protect Belfast Agreement and Common Travel Area announcement.

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