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Latest analysis of EU law changes impacts on UK released by Committee

17 May 2022

The European Scrutiny Committee publishes considered by the Committee on 11 May 2022

Today’s report includes four pieces of analysis on:

Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM):

An update on the Government’s position on the EU’s proposals for a CBAM which aims to address the export of carbon emissions to countries with less stringent environmental protections.

The Government is seeking to minimise the impact of the EU’s CBAM on the UK. The Committee has asked to be updated in the Autumn.

Northern Ireland Protocol: Plant Health:

The EU is applying new requirements to the import of certain wood and plant products to protect plant health. GB exporters to the EU and Northern Ireland will need phytosanitary certificates to show that the area of origin of the wood and plants is free of certain pests. This is likely to impact the export of sawn wood and products such as wood flooring and veneer.

Northern Ireland Protocol: Organic products:

Changes to the EU’s rules of production and labelling of organic foods mean that UK and EU rules have now diverged in this area.

However, under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol, Northern Ireland must follow the EU’s rules which have restricted the number of cleaning products and disinfectants, permitted flavourings and implemented more stringent soil management for livestock.

Farming and Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis said that while the Government expect no impact on trade flows, Northern Irish poultry farmers will in some instances face “negligible higher” production costs than their British counterparts.

Deforestation and Forest Degradation:

The proposed EU measures are intended to exclude products that have been produced as a result of unsustainable deforestation or “forest degradation” by requiring firms to gather information and carry out checks on the sourcing of wood products, soya, cocoa, palm oil, coffee and beef. They are similar to measures being developed in the UK.

The Committee wrote to the Minister for Europe, James Cleverly in March with concerns that Northern Ireland may need to follow these rules under the Northern Ireland Protocol, potentially creating problems within the UK if there are differences between the new EU and UK approaches. Mr Cleverly told the Committee that the Government are still carrying out analysis on the applicability to the Northern Ireland.

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