7.The Agreement was laid on 28 January 2019, and the scrutiny period is scheduled to end on 5 March. It was considered by the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee at its meeting on 6 February.
8.This Agreement replicates the Agreement between the European Community and Australia on Trade in Wine, which entered into force in September 2010. It includes agreement on approved winemaking techniques, certification and labelling requirements and protection for geographical indications. The only changes that have been made relate to removing references to other EU countries and languages, and updating contact details and references to legislation. Providing domestic procedures are completed by both Parties in time, this Agreement will allow the wine trade between the UK and Australia to continue after Brexit on the same basis as it does now.
9.Given that the Joint Committee established by the Agreement has the power to make changes to the Annexes and Protocols attached to the Agreement, there is the possibility of divergence over time.
10.We report the Agreement on Trade in Wine between the United Kingdom and the Government of Australia for information.
11.The Agreement was laid on 28 January 2019, and the scrutiny period is scheduled to end on 5 March. It was considered by the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee at its meeting on 6 February.
12.In 1996 the (then) European Community and New Zealand signed an Agreement designed to facilitate trade in live animals and animal products by reducing physical border checks and inspection fees, recognising equivalent legislation and standards, and enabling measures for the protection of human and animal health. The aim of this Agreement is to apply those provisions to trade between the UK and New Zealand. The only changes made to the EU-New Zealand agreement are those required to maintain its operability, such as replacing references to EU bodies with their UK equivalents. A Joint Management Committee would be established to ensure the Agreement functions effectively and to discuss any proposed modifications, and this Committee would be free to make decisions which differ from the arrangements embodied by the EU-New Zealand agreement. The Agreement will give rise to new costs, primarily as a result of travel to convene the Joint Management Committee and to audit establishments in New Zealand.
13.We report the Agreement between the United Kingdom and New Zealand on Sanitary Measures Applicable to Trade in Live Animals and Animal Products for information.
14.The Agreement was laid on 22 January 2019, and the scrutiny period is scheduled to end on 27 February. It was considered by the EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee at its meeting on 6 February.
15.As a member of the European Union, the UK is party to a bilateral agreement with the US on prudential measures regarding insurance and reinsurance. The original EU Agreement was signed on 22 September 2017 and aims to increase trade in insurance and particularly reinsurance by reducing regulatory burdens, on the basis of mutual recognition of prudential standards. The new UK-US Agreement maintains the effect of the EU-US Agreement. The only material change is the addition of a requirement that the first meeting of the Joint Committee takes place within 90 days of the Agreement entering into force; this replicates similar arrangements in the EU-US Agreement.
16.We report the Agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States of America on Prudential Measures regarding Insurance and Reinsurance for information.
17.The Agreement was laid on 30 January 2019, and the scrutiny period is scheduled to end on 7 March. It was considered by the EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee at its meeting on 6 February.
18.The UK-Swiss Agreement replicates the provisions of the EU-Swiss Agreement, granting mutual branching rights and equal freedom of establishment to companies offering direct insurance other than life assurance, based on the mutual recognition of equivalent prudential standards for insurance. The only changes consist of technical adjustments to make it operable in a bilateral context and the conversion of currency references from Euros to Pounds Sterling. This UK-Swiss Agreement would provide continuity for UK firms currently selling insurance direct into Switzerland either at the end of the transition period or after the UK leaves the EU in a ‘no deal’ scenario.
19.We report the Agreement between the United Kingdom and the Swiss Confederation on Direct Insurance other than Life Insurance for information.
20.The Agreement was laid on 29 January 2019, and the scrutiny period is scheduled to end on 6 March It was considered by the EU Internal Market Sub-Committee at its meeting on 7 February.
21.The UK is currently party to the European Community (EC)-Swiss Agreement on the Carriage of Goods and Passengers by Rail and Road. The new UK-Swiss Agreement (‘the Agreement’) is intended to provide for the transport of passengers and goods by road between the UK and Switzerland. The Agreement is extended to Liechtenstein and Gibraltar and may be further extended to the Crown Dependencies or other territories for whose international relations the UK is responsible. The Agreement would establish a Joint Committee, composed of representatives of the competent authorities of the Parties, to oversee its implementation.
22.The Government’s Explanatory Memorandum (EM) states that the Agreement does not change the level of access provided by the EC-Swiss Agreement. The EM explains that this amounts to liberalised, permit-free bilateral road haulage for UK and Swiss hauliers and includes transit (through the territory of the contracting Parties) and cross-trade rights. Although not referred to in the EM, the Agreement also provides for occasional (non-regular, such as a one-off tourism trip) transport of passengers between and through the territory of each party, subject to conditions. We note that the operation of road transport services including travel to or through the EU would be contingent on arrangements with the EU or individual Member States, though this is beyond the scope of the Agreement.
23.The original EC-Swiss Agreement covered both rail and road transport whereas the new UK-Swiss Agreement is limited to road transport. The Government has stated elsewhere its intention to seek bilateral arrangements with only France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Ireland to facilitate the continued functioning of cross-border rail services.
24.We are disappointed that the EM gives limited information on the scope of the Government’s consultations.
25.We report the Agreement between the United Kingdom and the Swiss Federal Council on the International Carriage of Passengers and Goods by Road for information.
26.The Agreement was laid on 29 January 2019, and the scrutiny period is scheduled to end on 6 March. It was considered by the EU Internal Market Sub-Committee at its meeting on 7 February.
27.Air services between the UK and Switzerland are currently provided for by the European Community (EC)-Swiss Air Transport Agreement. The new UK-Swiss Agreement (‘the Agreement’) is intended to ensure that scheduled air services between the UK and Switzerland are maintained after the UK leaves the EU. The Government’s Explanatory Memorandum (EM) states that the Agreement “includes modern provisions on matters relevant to the operation of scheduled air services”. We note that the Agreement contains provisions on traffic rights, requirements for the designation of airlines eligible to operate services in scope of the Agreement, fair competition, safety and security.
28.The Agreement grants UK and Swiss airlines the right to operate scheduled services between the UK and Switzerland, including with stops in intermediate points in the EU/EFTA. It also allows UK and Swiss airlines to operate services between the territory of the other party and onward points in the EU/EFTA. We note that the operation of services involving points in the EU/EFTA would be contingent on arrangements with the EU or individual EU/EFTA Member States. This matter is beyond the scope of the Agreement.
29.The Government notes that the only substantial area of divergence between the Agreement and the EC-Swiss Agreement is that the latter is administered by a Joint Committee. The Government does not consider it necessary to replicate this structure, given the greater ease in arranging consultations between two parties.
30.We are disappointed that the EM gives limited information on the scope of the Government’s consultations.
31.We report the Agreement between the United Kingdom and the Swiss Confederation relating to Scheduled Air Services for information.