It was announced on Thursday 18 March that Lord Frost was to enter the Cabinet and become responsible for the UK’s negotiations with the EU over outstanding BREXIT issues.
If you thought that it was all over on the 31st December when the UK left the transition arrangements, you would be sadly disappointed.
Negotiations with the EU are set to continue for months if not years.
There are two elements to the negotiations. The first is dealing with the issues which were not covered by the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. These include whether the City of London will be granted access to EU Markets. The negotiations will also deal with issues such as the transfer of data between the UK and the EU.
The second element is to deal with issues which “blow up” such as the operation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Some issues appear to have gone well and are close to resolution such as the exchange of data and Social Security Agreements. Others appear to be intractable such as the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The appointment of Lord Frost to succeed Michael Gove in this area appears to show a toughening in the Government’s approach on these negotiations. Lord Frost employed a robust line in the Trade and Cooperation negotiations and this is likely to continue in the subsequent negotiations through 2021. This will have a knock- on effect on outstanding tax issues where divergence rather than alignment is likely to be the order of the day.
Primondell is running a number of seminars this Spring on the effect of BREXIT on tax and other areas.