Efta Separation Agreement

The proposed ratification of this treaty, particularly in the dualist countries of Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom, will take some time. Liechtenstein is a monist country and will therefore probably be able to table its “instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval” fairly quickly. However, the agreement cannot enter into force until 30 March 2019, as long as the United Kingdom and one of the three EEA/EFTA states have tabled their own ratification instrument with the Norwegian government as custodians of the agreement (Article 70, paragraph 2, EEA-EFTA Separation Agreement). This puts considerable pressure on national ratification procedures. The government has already worked closely with the four third countries on a number of issues related to our future relations. We have successfully implemented a number of agreements, including the EEA-EFTA Separation Agreement, signed in January this year, which broadly reflects the provisions of the EU Withdrawal Agreement on citizens` rights and a small number of other relevant separation issues. We have concluded and signed agreements with Switzerland in five key areas; Trade; Air services Road transport Insurance and citizens` rights. 17.In correspondence, FCO officials pointed out a number of differences between the EU withdrawal agreement and the eee-EFA withdrawal agreement. They described them as “technical and minor” and stated that they were reflected where the EEA agreement does not contain relevant parts of EU law. 31.We have repeatedly highlighted this limitation of the current audit process.

We again call on the government to be more transparent in the event of changes to international agreements and to put in place a system in which Parliament will be informed of any significant changes to an agreement it has discussed. 9.Officials noted that “the vast majority of contractual obligations will not come into force until the end of the transitional period,” adding that the United Kingdom and Norway “agreed to implement the articles of the agreement that will apply in the same way as the other EEA-EFTA states, which may apply provisionally until the agreement enters into force.” This agreement with Norway is a political (not legal) obligation and has been “anchored by a non-binding exchange of verbal notes”. 12.The Euro annexed to the separation agreement states that it will apply “to territories covered by the EEA agreement and other international agreements on which the EEA-EFTA States cooperate with the UNION”. As a result, provisions relating to citizens` rights, as well as provisions relating to intellectual property, public procurement, ongoing police and judicial cooperation, data procedures and judicial proceedings, will be extended to Gibraltar. The provisions relating to products on the market apply to crown dependencies. The EM notes that the agreement does not extend to other overseas territories or to the basic sovereign territory. 7.Following an investigation by Committee staff into the delay between the conclusion and signing of the agreement and the reason for its provisional application, officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) stated that the agreement had only entered into force in a scenario in which the EU withdrawal agreement had entered into force and, as such, “the signing of this agreement depended on the signing of the AGREEMENT. DE DÉSIRANT establish the necessary provisions for the UK`s withdrawal from the EU, the EEA agreement and other applicable agreements between the United Kingdom and Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway because of the Uk`s membership of the EU.”

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