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The latest round of EU-UK negotiations took place in London, between Tuesday, 8 September and Thursday, 10 September 2020, and while the two sides noted ‘useful exchanges’, there was limited progress noted on the most difficult issues for the talks. Ultimately, the negotiations themselves were heavily overshadowed by the introduction of the UK Government’s Internal Market Bill on Wednesday, 9 September 2020.
The Bill seemingly contravenes provisions in the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland relating to trade in goods and the agreed rules on State aid and formed a sobering backdrop to negotiations which were already commencing on an pessimistic note, after little progress had been made in the accelerated schedule of talk talks which took place during the summer period.
This State of Play note examines the contents of the Bill details the implications for relevant sections of the Protocol. It will examine its implications for UK internal cohesion, and for the UK’s prospects of striking deals with third countries. Finally, it will examine what avenues the EU might pursue, should the UK renege on its obligations under the Protocol.