Brexit Bulletin - 7 June 2021

This week, the ADS Brexit Bulletin provides a focus on future trade agreements. Our ‘In Focus’ section has been put together in collaboration with the Department for International Trade to gather your feedback on industry priorities to feed into Government and to help inform trade negotiations.


Last week, the countries which are part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreed to the UK’s bid to begin the accession process. The UK will continue to work closely with Japan, as this year’s chair of the CPTPP commission, alongside the other CPTPP nations to progress negotiations as quickly as possible. There is also a strong chance that an interim agreement will be reached between the UK and India by the end of the year.


In other Brexit news, ADS continues to pursue solutions to the issues members are experiencing related to the Northern Ireland Protocol. Talks are ongoing between the UK and EU on how to address arising issues. ADS is working closely with Government and we are feeding in members’ concerns; please see further details below.


The EU is encouraging EU citizens in Britain to apply for residence status by June 30, the deadline set by the Government for its EU Settlement Scheme, which guarantees their rights to live, work and access public services in the UK. The Home Office has said those with “reasonable grounds” to miss the deadline will be offered extra time to apply.



ADS is working closely with the Department for International Trade (DIT) as negotiations continue between the UK and future trade partners.


We are looking to host a webinar with DIT officials as part of our Managing Brexit series to discuss the latest developments related to Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) for ADS members.


As we shape this opportunity, the ADS and DIT teams would welcome your feedback on the following areas, to gauge member interest and tailor the content.

  • Your interest in FTAs with Japan, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Canada. Please indicate which countries and agreements you would be interested in learning more about.
  • Your interest in key themes and topics that are included within FTAs, such as IP and data sharing elements of FTAs, ways to access tariff preferences and customs continuity. Please indicate if you would be interested in learning more about these or other themes.


As part of our work with DIT we are also sharing the below questions for you to complete and return to ADS. These questions are tailored to make sure that ADS member views are fully represented to DIT and will help to improve our engagement by highlighting your priorities for ongoing and future negotiations.



  1. How can DIT make sure that, during negotiations of new FTA’s the interests of business are well represented and that engagement with businesses has as wide reach as possible?
  2. What kind of trade barriers have your business identified? (for example, this could be tariffs, regulatory divergences making it difficult to put goods on the market, different customs procedures and requirements, challenges on data sharing, IP, or wider market access issues).
  3. Do you have any examples that illustrate how businesses and government have worked together to open up a market for British companies?




  1. What determines the importance of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for your business?
  2. Which existing FTAs are of principal importance to your business operations?
  3. What may be preventing your business from fully utilising existing FTAs?
  4. What action, if any, would you like DIT to take in order for your business to further benefit from existing FTAs?
  5. Which indicators do you consider most important to monitor to best understand how well existing FTAs are performing? Consider the utilization of FTAs as a starting point.  


Please send your feedback on the above topics and answers to the questions to Aimie Stone, Senior Economist, by 21 June 2021.


As businesses navigate the new relationship between the UK and EU, there may be issues and new experiences facing members, ADS are keen to hear from members via the dedicated  email address on all your experiences including:

  • Ease or challenges related to moving goods from GB to EU from 1 January 2021
  • Experiences with Customs Agents
  • Experiences with new customs systems
  • Ease or challenges related to moving goods in and out of NI from 1 January 2021 
  • Concerns with regards to regulation or certification of your goods and products



Last week, Cabinet Office Minister Lord Frost and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis MP met with ADS and wider business representatives in Northern Ireland (NI) to discuss the NI Protocol. They outlined their recognition of the delays and complexity currently facing businesses. UK and EU officials are engaged in technical talks aimed at simplifying the operation of the protocol. A meeting involving Lord Frost and European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic is scheduled to take place next week, however it is understood that talks so far have made limited progress.

The Government has released a Reservations tool, which allows businesses to check which reservations are relevant when selling services to customers in EU member states. In the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), there are agreed rules on international investment and trade in services, known as core commitments. These rules allow firms from each party to sell services to, and invest in, the other party, without discrimination.


Reservations are areas where countries have reserved the right not to follow the core commitments. Where a reservation applies, countries may apply laws that would otherwise breach the commitments – for example, by discriminating against foreign firms or by blocking investment. For EU reservations, some are specific to one Member State, whilst others are EU-wide.


Selling or providing services to the EU is now different for UK businesses, particularly those that are subject to reservations. You should check the reservations and national regulations of the country where you are selling services. If in doubt, you should always seek professional advice and/or contact the government of the country where you operate or plan to operate for more information.


The interactive tool can be used to find reservations that are EU-wide or specific to a Member State. You can also find reservations by sector.

At the end of May, the UK Government launched an open consultation on Operation Brock. The current legislation, which was set up in 2019 with various amends since then, is set to expire at the end of October 2021.


This consultation puts forward proposals to remove provisions relating to the end of the EU transition period and COVID-19. Some of these provisions have never been exercised and the level of ‘border readiness’ had been credited for them not being needed. It also proposes to make permanent the remaining provisions relating to traffic management, so that Operation Brock can continue to be an effective traffic management response plan in the future.

The consultation period began on 26 May 2021 and will run until midnight of 20 June 2021. If members wish to respond, please visit the pages or contact


HMRC is providing a range of support to customs and international trade customers. ADS has collated a series of slide packs provided by government as part of our useful resources page on the ADS Brexit hub and also has a page dedicated to webinars and videos for organisations that trade with the EU.


Customs & International Trade Helpline – 0300 322 9434

The helpline is the main route in for customers with general customs queries. Capacity has been scaled up following the end of the transition period.

  • For GVMS – (details to be published online soon)

Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy | Unsubscribe

ADS Group Limited, Salamanca Square, 9 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7SP.

All Rights Reserved. Registered in England no. 7016635