Agenda item

Policy Update



Sophie Tucker (Senior Support and Research Assistant) provided an update to the briefing that had been circulated with the agenda, which included –



EU Settlement Scheme and Immigration -




the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme had been 30 June 2021; new statistics showed that there was a total of six million applications for the scheme which secured EU citizens’ right in the UK;





there had been a surge in applications which included more than 400,000 in June; this had resulted in approximately 570,000 pending applications; the Government had assured those who had applied prior to the deadline, that they would have their rights protected until their applications had been decided (as set out in law); they would also have the means of proving their protected rights if required;






the latest figures for Plymouth (as of 31 March 2021) was 10,820; the vast majority of which had received an outcome of either settled for pre-settled status; the figures were broken down as follows -







6,390 settled status (increased by 430 was 5,960);




3,570 pre settled status (increased by 400 was 3,170);




300 other (increased by 80 was 220);







due to the end of the EU Settlement Scheme, there had been changes to the right to work checks from 1 July 2021; EU passports or ID cards were no longer valid proof of the right to work; an online right to work check would now be required;





the Graduate Route -






this immigration route opened on 1 July 2021 and allowed international graduates to start their careers in the UK, after they had finished their studies at a UK university;






this provided an opportunity for talented international graduates, who had graduated from a UK university, to stay in the UK and either work, or look for work at any skill level for a period of at least two years;





EU adopted ‘adequacy’ decisions -






the decisions mean that UK businesses and organisations would be able to continue to receive personal data from the EU and EEA without the need to put additional arrangements in place with European counterparts;






the European Scrutiny Committee had launched an enquiry into the new bodies set up to manage the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement and to examine the Government’s approach to maximising its influence on them;





to date, there were 67 total trade agreements in effect (at varying stages); 37 fully ratified, 26 provisional applications and 4 bridging mechanisms;





a new Subsidy Control Bill had been introduced to Parliament on 30 June 2021; the bill sets out the Government’s legislative proposal for a new UK subsidy control regime and covered a number of key areas including -






providing a legal framework for public authorities to award subsidies in line with the subsidy control principles; there would be a statutory duty for public authorities to consider these principles and only award a subsidy if it was consistent with these principles;






the introduction of a number of prohibitions to prevent public authorities granting subsidies with distortive or harmful economic impacts;





Total Allowable Catches (TACs)






the deadline for agreeing guidelines for the setting of the Total Allowable Catches was at the beginning of July 2021for stocks of fish subject to quotas;






however, the UK did conclude negotiations in mid-June 2021; the catch limits had been set for 70 fish stocks and superseded the previous provisional catch limits for 2021; the total value of the UK-EU fishing opportunities for the UK in 2021 was approximately £333m (this equated to 160,000 tonnes);





the transitional period would end on 31 December 2021; this period allowed more time for exporters to obtain the suppliers’ declarations needed to prove the origin of their exports;





Freezone – the International Trade Committee had published the Government’s response to its report on UK freeports.


The Committee raised whether –



the Marine Management Organisation’s Fisheries and Seafood scheme had been open to Plymouth, and if so, whether an initiative had been put forward




response: Kevin McKenzie advised that he would need to check this information and provide an a response outside of this forum;




the Council had consulted with the city’s fishing industry and stakeholders, as to whether they were content with the fishing catch limits;




response:  the Fisheries Group which comprised of representatives from the fishing industry met on a regular basis; the industry’s response to the catch limits would need to be tested; it was unlikely that there would be a change in the position with regard to the scope of the negotiations; at the Committee’s Select Committee Review held in February 2021, the industry representatives had not been happy with the fishing allocation, although an update would be provided to a future meeting of the Committee relating to the agreed specific species quota.


The Committee considered that an impact assessment should be undertaken on the funding Plymouth had received through its successful bidding process for various Government funding options (and for this information to be included in future policy briefings).


The Chair advised that if the fishing industry within the city were not happy with their allocation then any data would be helpful in order to effectively lobby Government.

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