Brexit Update 17 August 2020 by Camilla Call, Brexit Advisor

In contrast to the last few weeks, this week’s round-up is quite light on updates in advance of round seven of negotiations taking place 19 and 20 August.
11 August we heard of a surprising reason for trade negotiations between the UK and Japan hitting a stumbling block; stilton cheese (BBC). It was reported that Liz Truss, International Trade Secretary, requested better terms for British blue cheeses, although exports only reached just over £100,000 last year. The aim for both sides is still to agree a formal agreement in principle by the end of August. Stilton has a protected designation of origin (PDO) meaning it, and other foods with the status, can only be produced in the designated region with the aim of protecting the quality by preventing cheaper imitations, allowing the producers to command a fair price and encouraging rural and agricultural activity. However, as this is an EU scheme, from 1 January 2021 the UK will replace this with its own geographical indication scheme and all products existing under the current scheme by the end of the transition period will remain protected.

The government is asking for views from stakeholders with an interest in the border including logistics firms, businesses trading across the border, organisations who depend on the movement of goods/people across the border and groups representing commercial and leisure travellers. This list is not exhaustive so if you do fall into one of these or have an interest you can submit your views by 28 August.

Round seven of negotiations between the UK and EU are taking place this upcoming week with the talks scheduled for Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 August. The full schedule can be viewed here with talks including fisheries and the level playing field, two sticking points that have so far held up progress.

This marks an important point in the talks as the EU has previously said agreements must be reached in order to finalise details by November in order to implement the new system by 1 January 2021. We will report on the outcomes from round seven in next week’s update.

Tomorrow, 18 August, we join Devon & Plymouth Chamber, Cornwall Chamber and Business West for a webinar by Liam Smyth, Director of Trade Facilitation at the British Chambers of Commerce. In the hour session he’ll provide insight on the new UK Border Operating Model, advise on the actions businesses need to engage in now, signpost funding for trader readiness and comment on prospects for future trade. We will summarise this in next week’s report.

Dorset Chamber delivers a free of charge Brexit advice service to all businesses, funded by BCP Council and Dorset Council. For information and advice please contact us at gateway@dcci.co.uk / 01202 714800 or visit dorsetchamber.co.uk.

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