10 September 2021


On 6 September, the UK Government announced that the grace periods covering post-Brexit trade from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be extended again from October 1 "to provide space for potential further discussions" on the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. The UK Government did not set a date for ending the “standstill” arrangement and said it would provide business with “reasonable notice” if the situation changed.

On October 1, the British government was expected to introduce customs enforcement on parcels moving from Great Britain into Northern Ireland; new charges on some agri-food products taking that route; and increased health checks on food products as well as checks on pets arriving in Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. All of these changes will now be delayed as the UK and EU continue talks on the Protocol.

The European Commission took note of the extension of the grace periods and stressed that while its focus remains on identifying long-term, flexible and practical solutions to address issues related to the practical implementation of the Protocol, it will not agree to its renegotiation.