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Brexit and Protocol Timeline III

  • 2023 (Oct-Dec):
  • 2023 (July-Sept):
  • 2023 (Apr-June):
  • 2023 (Mar-May): Parliamentary Debates on the Windsor Framework | Joint Committee adopts Windsor Framework | 25th Anniversary of 1998 Agreement | Specialised Committee Meeting


    27 April
    First meeting of the Specialised Committee on the Protocol takes place. A joint statement is released by the UK and EC. 

    Committees in the European Parliament unanimously approve proposals on SPS measures, and human medicines to implement commitments in the Windsor Framework.

    17-19 April
    A two-day conference takes place at Queen's University Belfast to mark 25th anniversary of the 1998 Agreement.

    12 April
    US President Joe Biden visits Northern Ireland and delivers a speech at Ulster University reflecting on 25 years of the 1998 Agreement.  

    9 April
    The Retained EU Law Bill is dropped from the House of Lords forthcoming business in apparent retreat of UK Government position on the draft legislation. 

    5 April
    UK Government publish its draft Border Operating Model which is due to be progressively introduced from the end of October 2023. 

    EU-UK Joint Committee publish its 2021 Annual Report

    24 March
    A meeting of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee takes place alongside a meeting of the TCA Partnership Committee. Co-Chairs release a joint statement welcoming the Windsor Framework. The JC adopt a decision on arrangements for its implementation alongside a series of declarations and recommendations.

    Sinn Fein leader welcomes the adoption of the Windsor Framework arrangements and says it is 'time to move forward' and restore NI institutions. 

    23 March
    NI Secretary says the Windsor Framework cannot be renegotiated as he meets with NI political parties. 

    22 March 
    A debate on The Windsor Framework (Democratic Scrutiny) Regulations 2023 is held in the House of Commons. An approval motion passes with 515 votes in favor and 29 against. DUP representatives voted against. 

    Office for Internal Market publish first annual report

  • 2023 (Feb-Mar): UK-EU 'Windsor Framework' Deal Announced | DUP Consultation Panel | NI Party Statements


    21 March
    EU General Affairs Council approves the main elements of the Windsor Framework, paving the way for a decision of the the UK-EU Joint Committee.

    UUP statement describes Windsor Framework as 'important stepping stone' towards a lasting solution.  

    20 March 
    UK government publish draft legislation which would give effect to the provision for a 'Stormont Brake' procedure on changes to EU law that apply in NI. A vote is scheduled on The Windsor Framework (Democratic Scrutiny) Regulations 2023 which Downing St have said will serve as a vote on the Framework in its entirety. 

    15 March 
    An EU law granting the European Commission powers to impose trade restrictions on the UK in it breaches its obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement or TCA is adopted. 

    European Commission publish a report on the TCA. 

    14 March
    European Parliament hold a debate on the Windsor Framework and a report on three years of implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement.  

    10 March
    A group of CBI business representatives publish an open letter to the UK Prime Minister stating support for the Windsor Framework. 

    8 March 
    The Retained EU Law Bill completes Committee Stage in the House of Lords. 

    6 March
    DUP leader Sir Jeffery Donaldson announces establishment of a consultation group to examine and report on the Windsor Framework deal. 

    British Irish Parliamentary Assembly holds an extraordinary plenary in Stormont to mark 25 years since the 1998 Agreement. 

    28 February
    UK Prime Minister speaks to local business leaders at the Coca-Cola factory in Lisburn about the Windsor Framework. PM Sunak says the deal would make NI "the world's most exciting economic zone". 

    27 February
    UK Prime 
    Minister and European Commission President hold joint press conference to announce (see respective UK / EU statements) the conclusion of the Windsor Framework an agreement between the EU and UK on revised arrangements for the implementation of the Protocol.

    PM Sunak later makes a statement on the Windsor Framework in the House of Commons. 

    US President Joe Biden releases a statement on the Windsor Framework.

    26 February 
    A joint statement indicates the UK Prime Minister and European Commission President will meet tomorrow.

    18 February
    PM Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have "positive discussion" on the Protocol according to joint statement issued after the two leaders met at the Munich Security Conference. 

    17 February
    EU and UK Co-chairs of the Joint Committee EU's Maroš Šefčovič and UK's James Cleverly have 'constructive' meeting in Brussels. 

    16 February
    PM Sunak visits Northern Ireland and holds talks with political parties in sign that a deal on the Protocol is imminent. 

  • 2023 (Jan-Feb): British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference | Supreme Court dismiss Allister case | Reports of UK-EU 'Protocol deal'


    14 February
    NI Assembly is recalled but fails to elect a Speaker due to DUP refusal to support the motion. 

    European Parliament approves legislation to enable the EU to impose retaliatory measures on the UK for breaches of the Withdrawal Agreement.

    9 February
    NI Secretary introduces legislation to extend the period for Executive formation until 18 January 2024. 

    8 February
    UK Supreme Court dismiss legal challenge to the Protocol in the case of Allister and others.

    6 February
    Northern Ireland Business Brexit Working Group welcome reports of progress in UK-EU talks on the Protocol.

    3 February
    Tánaiste Micheàl Martin meets political parties in Belfast; the DUP and Sinn Féin both released statements. 

    2 February
    Tánaiste Micheàl Martin describes "good call" with UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly regarding EU-UK talks and other issues. 

    President of the European Parliament H.E. Roberta Metsola addresses the Oireachtas to mark 50years of Ireland EU membership. 

    1 February
    An Early Day Motion is brought against the UK government tabling of statutory instrument (SI 2023/17) to provide for the building of border infrastructure at NI ports required by the Protocol. 

    A report in the Belfast Telegraph suggests that SI 2023/17 will be subject of a legal challenge. 

    31 January
    Report in The Times newspaper suggests the UK and EU have reached agreement on arrangements for implementing the Protocol. 

    30 January
    Counselor of the US Department of State Derek Chollet and European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič have "productive" discussion regarding UK-EU talks on the Protocol and the 1998 Agreement.

    UK government updates its 'Retained EU Law' dashboard to now show a total of 3,745 items, increased from the 2,417 initially published.

    24 January 
    NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris meets US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs Joe Kennedy III in Washington. 

    23 January
    PM Rishi Sunak and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speak on the phone. According to separate UK and Ireland statements, the conversation touched on the need for 'solutions' on the Protocol and the restoration of devolution in NI 

    22 January
    NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris visits the US to "drum up investment opportunities" for NI. Heaton-Harris will also meet US Special Envoy to NI, Joe Kennedy III. 

    20 January
    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar expresses "regret" that "in the same way Brexit was imposed on Northern Ireland without the support of both communities, the Protocol was imposed on Northern Ireland without the support of two communities".

    NI Minister Steve Baker states his commitment to bring the DUP and the ERG into the "positive" space during a visit to Dublin. 

    19 January
    The British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference takes place in Dublin. Topics discussed included: NI political stability; cooperation on energy, security and cyber; citizenship/rights issues related to the CTA; legacy issues; and the upcoming anniversary of the 1998 Agreement. 

    The deadline for NI Executive formation passes. NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris is obliged to hold an election in 12weeks under current legislation. Writing in the Irish Times he says: "I will use the next few assess carefully all options about what happens next ...before I make any decisions". 

  • 2022 (Dec) to 2023 (Jan): New Taoiseach | Prime Minister NI Visit | Veterinary Medicines Grace Period Extension | UK-EU Talks and 'Constructive' Meetings


    18 January
    REUL Bill passes its third reading in the House of Commons by 297 votes to 238. 

    17 January
    UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly meets with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington. Their conversation "touched on" Northern Ireland and the implementation of the Protocol.

    EU Ambassador to the UK Pedro Serrano meets with NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris to discuss UK-EU relations and the Protocol.

    16 January
    Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee publish a short joint statement following a video conference meeting. Earlier reports suggested the two sides were close to agreeing a 'framework' for dealing with some issues but none appeared. 

    Shadow NI Secretary Peter Kyle says he was "slightly disappointed" at the Co-Chairs joint statement during a visit to Derry/Londonderry.

    13 January
    Leader of the Labour Party Opposition Sir Kier Starmer makes a two day visit to Northern Ireland. Starmer says: "The time to put Northern Ireland above a Brexit purity cult which can never be satisfied is now" during a speech at Queen's University Belfast. 

    12 January
    During a visit to Belfast Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says implementation of the Protocol has been "too strict and too rigid" and that he is keen to "repair and restore" relations with political parties in Northern Ireland as well as between the UK and Ireland, and the UK and EU. 

    NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris meets Tánaiste Micheál Martin in Hillsborough, Northern Ireland, to discuss a range of issues including the implementation of the Protocol and its impact on NI institutions. 

    11 January
    Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris visit NI to hold talks with political parties. The meeting included representatives from the DUP, UUP and Alliance. Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald was told by the UKG she could not attend; the SDLP and Sinn Féin therefore opted not to send any representatives. 

    UK government makes provision for the construction of permanent Border Control Posts in Northern Ireland via statutory instrument

    10 January 
    Tánaiste Micheál Martin meets EU Co-Chair and Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič in Brussels for talks on the Protocol. 

    9 January
    Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič meet in London along with NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris. The two Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee issue a joint statement that describes the meeting as "cordial and constructive" and notes that agreement was reach on "the specific question of the EU's access to UK IT systems" which will provide a new basis for EU-UK discussions.


    19 December
    European Commission announce an extension to grace period until December 2025 for checks otherwise required under the Protocol on veterinary medicines entering Northern Ireland. 

    Joe Kennedy III is confirmed as the new US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland.

    18 December
    Fine Gael TD Leo Varadkar becomes Taoiseach replacing Fianna Fáil's Micheál Martin who becomes Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs with Simon Coveney moving to the Department of Enterprise. This rotation of power was laid down in the coalition agreement between the governing parties made in June 2020. 

    16 December 
    Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says NI households will receive support for energy bills "very shortly" during his first visit to Northern Ireland since taking office.  

    Former Democratic Congressman Joe Kennedy III is set to be named as US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland. 

    15 December 
    Co-chairs of the EU-UK Joint Committee Maroš Šefčovič and James Cleverly hold their first face to face meeting in Brussels. Šefčovič describes the meeting as 'constructive' while Cleverly says the two sides are 'determined to find a solution' to the Protocol.

  • 2022 (Nov-Dec): Parliamentary Partnership Assembly | British Irish Council | Allister and others Hearing | Cleverly and Sefcovic Meeting


    15 December
    NI High Court grants that the decision on the part of the NI Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to halt checks required under the Protocol was unlawful. 

    11 December
    DUP leader Sir Jeffery Donaldson writes to NI Secretary to critique the "tediously slow" progress of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill in the Houses of Parliament.

    9 December
    German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock encourages the UK government to "take up the very constructive EU proposals" related to the Protocol during visit to Ireland. 

    8 December
    NI Chamber publish survey findings indicating that 54% of its members believe the Protocol is supporting business growth while 29% do not. 

    7 December
    NI Assembly is recalled following a petition from Sinn Fein supported by Alliance and SDLP to debate the cost of living crisis. For the fifth time since the May 2022 elections the attempt to elect a Speaker fails with the DUP refusing to participate. 

    6 December
    Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc.) Act 2022 receives Royal Assent. The legislation extends the deadline for calling NI elections, grants exceptional powers to NI officials and gives the NI Secretary power to determine MLAs salaries. 

    1 December
    UK Supreme Court two day hearing of Allister and others concludes. Judgment is not expected until 2023. 

    30 November
    EU reach provisional agreement on new legislation to strengthen the European Commission powers of enforcement in relation to the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement and TCA. 

    22 November
    Welsh Senedd vote down a Legislative Consent Motion on the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill with 15 votes for and 35 votes against.   

    18 November
    EU Member States are briefed on the state of play in UK-EU relations at the General Affairs Council.

    16 November
    UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Europe, Leo Docherty, visits Northern Ireland and Ireland. Docherty met with NI business representatives and the Irish Minister of State for European Affairs to discuss implementation of the Protocol in both contexts. 

    Reports in The Times newspaper suggest PM Rishi Sunak told US President Joe Biden that the EU and UK would reach agreement on the Protocol by April 2023. 

    14 November
    UK government announces 2year extension for businesses applying for product safety marking 'UKCA' which replaces the 'CE' mark that applies in the EU.

    Scottish Parliament Committee on the Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture report on the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill. 

    10 November
    After attending a meeting of the British Irish Council, the UK Prime Minister says he is confident that "with goodwill and pragmatism" a breakthrough in UK-EU talks on the Protocol can happen. 

    9 November
    Secretary of State for NI announces to Commons that he will introduce legislation to extend the deadline by which an NI Executive must be formed. 

    8 November
    The first sitting of the committee stage for the Retained EU Law (REUL) Bill takes place in the House of Commons. 

    7-8 November
    EU-UK Parliamentary Partnership Assembly (PPA) meets in Westminster. Members of UK devolved legislatures attend as observers. Declan Kearney (Sinn Fein) and Philip Brett (DUP) attend for NI. The PPA agreed a joint statement and recommendation to the Partnership Council on Energy cooperation.

    7 November
    UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen hold first in-person meeting on the margins of COP27 in Egypt. 

    A Committee Stage debate on the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill takes place in the House of Lords.

  • 2022 (Oct-Nov): Trader Support Service Extension | European Political Community | British Irish Intergovernmental Conference | NI Assembly Election Deadline


    4 November
    NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris announces there will not be an Assembly election before Christmas. 

    BBC reports UK-EU talks on the Protocol are 'making slow progress' as technical talks continue.

    2-4 November
    MEPs from the European Parliament's Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs visit the UK to discuss issues concerning data protection including the UK's adequacy under the EU's GDPR which underpins aspects of North-South cooperation on the island of Ireland.

    2 November
    A Committee Stage debate on the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill takes place in the House of Lords.

    1 November
    NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris holds talks with party leaders after deadline for Executive formation passes. 

    31 October
    A Committee Stage debate on the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill takes place in the House of Lords.

    28 October
    Deadline for NI Executive formation passes with devolved institutions not restored. NI Secretary is, under legislation, obliged to call an election within 12weeks. 

    27 October
    NI Assembly is recalled ahead of the 28 October deadline for restoring an Executive. The first item of business - election of a Speaker - failed due to lack of cross community consent. 

    UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič speak on the telephone about the Protocol. 

    26 October
    UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen hold telephone conversation during which PM Sunak "restated his preference for exploring a negotiated solution" on the Protocol. 

    The 62nd Plenary of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly takes place in Cavan, Ireland. 

    25 October
    House of Lords begin detailed scrutiny of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill at committee stage.

    House of Commons hear the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill read for the second time. 

    21 October
    European Economic and Social Committee meet with civil society in Belfast during a fact finding mission to all parts of the UK. 

    20 October
    House of Lords Sub-Committee on the Protocol visit Northern Ireland. Peers met with businesses, civil society and political parties during their time. 

    NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris provides an update on UK government delivery on commitments in the New Decade, New Approach agreement. 

    18 October
    Secretary of State for NI Chris Heaton-Harris gives evidence to the NIAC including on whether or not an election will be called. 

    11 October
    House of Lords undertake the second reading of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill. The Lords Library publish a briefing paper ahead of the debate.  

    17 October
    UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič speak about the Protocol. 

    9 October
    DUP Leader, Sir Jeffery Donaldson, warns that "devolution and the Protocol [are] not compatible" at his party conference speech

    7 October
    British Irish Intergovernmental Conference takes place in London. A Joint Communique notes "the ongoing discussions to address issues around the Northern Ireland Protocol and to find an agreed way forward".

    'Dedicated Mechanism' bodies the Equality Commission NI and Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission publish a paper on the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill and Article 2 of the Protocol. 

    6 October
    Inaugural meeting of the European Political Community takes place. UK Prime Minister Liz Truss attends and releases a statement.  

    4 October
    Inaugural meeting of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement Civil Society Forum takes place. 

    3 October
    UK government announces an extension until end of 2023 for the Trader Support Service (TSS), a system to help businesses move goods GB-NI. 

  • 2022 (Sept-Oct): Brexit Freedoms Bill | UK-EU Talks Return | Conservative Party Conference


    At the Conservative Party conference, NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris says UK-EU talks on the Protocol have "reopened with gusto" while Junior Minister in the NIO Steve Baker issues an apology for "not always [behaving] in a way which encouraged Ireland and the European Union to trust [the UK]". 

    30 September
    UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič discuss the Protocol. After speaking on the phone both Cleverly and Šefčovič state agreement on the need to "look for solutions" on the Protocol.

    28 September
    Ireland Foreign Minister Simon Coveney and UK Secretary of State for NI Chris Heaton-Harris meet in Hillsborough. Coveney describes the meeting as "very constructive" while Heaton-Harris speaks of his confidence that UK-EU talks on the Protocol "will move forward" quickly. 

    Speaking on a visit to Ireland, Michel Barnier says the EU "must not and will not back down" over the Protocol. 

    27 September
    Writing in the News Letter NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris states his belief that a solution to the Protocol "can be found through a negotiated settlement with the EU" but if this is not possible the UK government "will continue with [its] legislation", meaning the NIP Bill.

    22 September
    UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Jacob Rees-Mogg introduces the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill to Parliament. The Bill includes a 'sunset clause' for all retained EU law to expire, on 31 December 2023, unless it has been specifically preserved or excepted by that date. A government press release accompanying publication of the Bill suggests it will remove "around £1 billion worth of red tape" for UK businesses. 

    UK-EU Specialised Committee on Participation in Union Programmes meet. The UK government release a statement.

    BBC reports suggest that the UK have requested more time to respond to EU infringement proceedings launched in July.  

    21 September
    European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen and UK Prime Minister Liz Truss meet at the UN General Assembly. Released after the meeting, a joint statement notes that the two leaders discussed the Protocol. 

    PM Truss also met with US President Joe Biden. A UK government statement says, on the Protocol: "both agreed that the priority must be protecting the [1998 Agreement] and preserving the gains of peace". 

    20 September
    EU General Affairs Council receives briefing from Vice-President Šefčovič regarding the Protocol. The Council statement notes: "Ministers reaffirmed their support to the European Commission's approach" and "reiterated in particular the EU's readiness to constructively discuss a negotiated solution within the the Protocol to the practical difficulties in implementing it" on the ground. 

    UK Prime Minister Liz Truss says she "doesn't expect negotiations on a trade deal with the United States" to start in the short to medium term". 

    Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris meets with political parties in Northern Ireland. The recently appointed NI Secretary says he can see "a landing zone" for talks on the Protocol and NI Executive formation. 

  • 2022 (July-Sept): NI Protocol Bill Committee Stage | Prime Minister Truss | British Monarchy | Bilateral Meetings


    18 September
    UK Prime Minister Liz Truss meets Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin in London. Reports suggest that both sides agree there is opportunity for a reset of UK-Ireland relations in the next few weeks.  

    15 September
    UK says it will maintain status quo 'grace periods' in relation to checks on goods entering Northern Ireland in its formal response to EU infringement proceedings for non-implementation of certain checks and controls required under the Protocol. 

    NISRA statistics for Q2 of 2022 reveal 13.9% increase in output for Northern Ireland food and drink firms. Ulster Back Chief Economist says the "NI Protocol [is] arguably behind the surge" in the sector. 

    14 September
    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers the State of the Union address setting out the priorities of the EU for the year ahead. Some proposed new policies are likely to fall within the scope of the Protocol.

    13 September
    HRH KING CHARLES III and the Queen Consort visit Northern Ireland as part of a series of memorial events to mark the passing of the late QUEEN ELIZABETH II. The new Prime Minister Liz Truss also attends a service in St Annes Cathedral Belfast, alongside the Taoiseach and senior NI politicians during her first visit as PM.

    12 September
    In an interview with the Financial Times, European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič says that physical checks on goods entering NI could be reduced to a "minimum" and "done in an invisible manner" if the UK and EU reach agreement on outstanding issues.  

    8 September
    The Royal Family announce the death of HRH QUEEN ELIZABETH II. Ten days of national mourning begin in the UK as HRH KING CHARLES III becomes the new monarch.

    MLAs from the five largest parties in Northern Ireland meet with MEPs in Brussels in an event hosted by Renew Europe and Fianna Fáil MEP Barry Andrews. Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern addressed the group alongside representatives from the Office of the NI Executive in Brussels. 

    6 September
    Boris Johnson formally steps down and Liz Truss becomes UK Prime Minister. 

    US President Joe Biden and new UK Prime Minister Liz Truss discuss Northern Ireland during their first phone call. Respective US and UK readouts use different language in relation to the 1998 Agreement and Protocol.  

    5 September
    Liz Truss is elected as Conservative Party leader and will therefore be the new UK Prime Minister. 

    18 August
    UK Government initiates formal consultations with the EU under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement dispute resolution process over UK participation in EU research Programmes. 

    17 August
    A Conservative Leadership hustings is held in Northern Ireland. Candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are questioned on a range of issues including the Protocol. 

    3 August
    NI Assembly is recalled to elect a Speaker following a petition spearheaded by the SDLP. No Speaker is elected as the DUP opposed the nominations. 

    22 July
    EU launches four new infringement procedures against the UK government for failure to implement parts of the Protocol. 

    21 July
    A Northern Ireland Assembly recall petition tabled by SDLP with support from Sinn Féin and Alliance is successful; the Assembly will meet on 26 July and attempt to elect a Speaker.

    20 July
    MPs vote 267 to 195 in favor of progressing the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill to its Third Reading stage in the House of Commons.

    Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss become the final two contenders in the race to become the next leader of the Conservative Party and the new UK Prime Minister.

    13 July
    MPs debate the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill on the first day of the Committee Stage. Amendments that would have limited the extent of disapplication it proposes are voted down. 

    European Commission adopts the PEACE PLUS programme.

  • 2022 (June-July): Confidence Vote | UK NI Protocol Bill | Šefčovič Speech | PM Johnson Resignation


    11-12 July
    Bonfires are lit across Northern Ireland and parades take place as part of the of Eleventh and Twelfth of July celebrations on the part of the Unionist and Loyalist community. Events are peaceful but the burning of effigies on some bonfires causes contoversy.

    8 July
    New Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Shailesh Vara, speaks with political party leaders about restoring devolved institutions. 

    7 July
    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigns under pressure from within his Conservative Party to do so. Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, is one of 30 government ministers to resign in protest over Johnson's leadership. Lewis is replaced by Shailesh Vara. 

    6 July
    MEPs criticise the UK government's Northern Ireland Protocol Bill during a debate in Strasbourg.  

    3 July
    German Foreign Minister and Irish Foreign Minister write a joint article in The Guardian newspaper criticising the UK government introduction of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill.

    29 June
    EU Co-Chair of the Joint Committee and Vice President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič makes a speech at Bloomberg on UK-EU relations.

    Results from the latest Post-Brexit Governance NI 'Testing the Temperature' polling are published.

    27 June
    The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill passes its second reading in the House of Commons with 295 MPs voting in favour and 221 voting against.

    European Commission launch a website on EUR-Lex dedicated to the Protocol and EU law that it makes applicable to Northern Ireland.

    21 June
    EU Member States state "full unity" in support for European Commission decision to launch and relaunch infringement proceedings against the UK. 

    19 June
    Taoiseach Micheál Martin describes UK protocol policy as an act of "economic vandalism" against Northern Ireland. 

    17 June
    Northern Ireland Business Brexit Working Group issue a statement in view of the UK's introduction of the NIP Bill and EU's response calling on "both parties" to "reach and agreement with a sense of urgency". 

    15 June
    European Commission launches infringement proceedings against the UK for non-compliance with "significant parts" the Protocol. This follows the UK government's publication of draft legislation that would disapply much of the Protocol in domestic law. 

    The European Commission also publishes position papers on customs and SPS issues setting out more details regarding proposals it made in 'non-papers' in October 2021.  

    13 June
    UK government publish its Northern Ireland Protocol Bill which, if passed, would disapply elements of the Protocol in UK law and give UK Ministers sweeping powers to make law in areas previously covered by the Protocol. The UK government also publish Explanatory Notes for the Bill, its legal advice and justification for introducing it as well as an explainer on the 'solutions' it contains.

    EU Vice-President and Co-Chair of the Joint Committee issues statement noting "significant concern" at the UK decision to table the legislation. 

    52 of the 90 MLAs recently elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly sign letter to Prime Minister Johnson stating their opposition to the proposed legislation. 

    6 June
    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson survives a confidence vote with 211 Conservative Party MPs voting in favour and 148 voting against continuation of his leadership. 

  • 2022 (Apr-May): Assembly Elections | Queen's Speech | PM Johnson Visit | Taoiseach Visit


    31 May
    UK government response to House of Lords Sub-Committee report on Scrutiny of EU legislative proposals within the scope of the Protocol. 

    30 May
    NI Assembly is recalled to elect a Speaker following a petition by Sinn Féin, the SDLP and Alliance. No Speaker is elected as the DUP opposed the nominations. 

    26 May
    A delegation from the US Congress meet with NI political parties in Stormont. Following the meeting, Chairperson of the Committee on Ways and Means Congressman Richard Neal comments on cross-party support for negotiated solutions to resolve challenges related to the implementation of the Protocol. 

    25 May
    UK Foreign Secretary and Co-Chair of the Joint Committee Liz Truss visits Northern Ireland. On a visit to County Antrim the Foreign Secretary says the Protocol issues are "soluble" and states that the UK government are "not talking about scrapping it" but to "fix the issues". 

    20 May 
    Taoiseach Micheál Martin visits Belfast. Martin recognised there are "legitimate issues" to be discussed regarding the Protocol but urged the DUP to reverse their decision not to return to power-sharing and called on the UK government not to go "too far in a unilateral way" and to engage in talks with the EU. 

    US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned the UK government that making unilateral changes to the Protocol in domestic legislation could endanger prospects of a UK-US trade deal.    

    17 May
    UK Foreign Secretary and Co-Chair of the Joint Committee Liz Truss makes announcement on proposed legislation allowing for unilateral UK disapplication of part of the Protocol.

    EU Co-Chair of the Joint Committee and Vice President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič makes a statement in response.

    16 May
    PM Boris Johnson visits Belfast.

    15 May
    PM Boris Johnson writes an op-ed in the Belfast Telegraph about seeking changes to the Protocol.

    12 May
    Co-Chairs of the EU-UK Joint committee, Maroš Šefčovič and Liz Truss hold telephone call meeting.

    10 May
    The UK government Queen's Speech contains a commitment to "prioritise support for the Belfast [Good Friday] Agreement and its institutions" as it is reported that UK Co-Chair of the Joint Committee and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has instructed officials to draft legislation that would unilaterally disapply parts of the Protocol. 

    EU Co-Chair of the Joint Committee and Vice President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič makes a statement in response. 

    8 May
    DUP leader Jeffery Donaldson says his party will not nominate a deputy First Minister until the UK government takes "decisive action" on the Protocol.

    7 May
    Results of the Northern Ireland Assembly election are confirmed: Sinn Féin is returned as the largest party with 27 seats, the DUP are second largest with 25 seats, Alliance are third largest with 17 seats, followed by the UUP with 9 seats, the SDLP with 8 seats and 4 seats going to smaller parties and independents.

    The result is viewed as politically very important as it is the first time ever that a Nationalist party has received the most support in Northern Ireland. 

    5 May
    Northern Ireland Assembly elections take place. 

    27 April
    Committee of the Regions adopt an opinion on Strengthening the EU-UK relationship at subnational level and remedying the territorial impact of the UK's withdrawal from the EU.  

    22 April
    Financial Times reports that the UK government plan to introduce legislation that would enable them to suspend aspects of the Protocol covering trade in goods.  

    20 April
    Amended EU legislation governing arrangements for the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland enters into force with retroactive effect from 1 Jan 2021.

    12 April
    EU adopts changes to legislation (Regulation (EU) 2022/641 and Directive (EU) 2022/642) concerning medicines to ensure GB-NI supplies to Northern Ireland can continue once the current grace period for checks and controls ends. 

  • 2022 (Feb-Mar): Joint Committee Meeting | Court of Appeal Judgment | Specialised Committee Meeting | Lord Frost Speech


    30 March
    EU Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Maroš Šefčovič, writes to UK Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Liz Truss, regarding progress on providing EU access to UK customs IT systems and Tariff Rate Quotas related to the implementation of the Protocol.

    18 March
    CoR-UK Contact Group holds its first meeting in the UK at the Welsh Senedd. 

    15 March
    Former UK Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Lord Frost, delivers a speech on the UK and EU in which he discusses Northern Ireland and the Protocol. 

    14 March
    NI Court of Appeal dismisses appeals against the Protocol in the case of re Jim Allister and others (EU Exit)

    8 March
    The tenth meeting of the Specialised Committee on the implementation of the Protocol takes place. A joint statement is issued by the UK and EU. 

    28 February
    The 61st plenary of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly took place in Westminster. A summary statement is released.

    21 February
    UK-EU Joint Committee hold its ninth meeting. The agenda included the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, citizens' rights and a stocktake of Specialised Committees activities. A Joint Statement was released following the meeting. 

    Separately, the EU published factsheets on its proposals on medicines, customs, SPS measures and stakeholder engagement. 

    18 February
    European Commission publishes report on June 2021 audit of official controls being implemented at official control posts in Northern Ireland . 

    17 February
    Irish Foreign Minister, Simon Coveney, visits Belfast for talks with four of the five largest parties in Northern Ireland, leader of the DUP Sir Jeffery Donaldson is unable to meet Coveney in person. 

    11 February
    European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič and UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss release a short joint statement after their third in-person meeting in London. 

    9 February
    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tells the House of Commons the Protocol "does not require, contrary to how it is being applied by our friends, all foods, all medicines and all plants to be systematically checked in the way that they are" and a "solution that commands cross-community support" is required. 

  • 2022 (Jan-Feb): UK-EU Talks | DUP Minister Orders Cessation of Border Checks | Executive Collapses


    8 February
    The Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Act receives royal assent, the Act removes the duty on the part of the UK government to set a date for an election if the posts of First and deputy First Minister are not filled within a week. It also enables the Assembly to continue for at least six months. 

    4 February
    Belfast High Court suspends the implementation of DUP Agriculture Minister's instruction to stop SPS checks at NI ports until a further order from the Court or until judicial review proceedings conclude. 

    3 February
    Northern Ireland's DUP First Minister, Paul Givan, resigns as part of his party's protest against the Protocol. Under the requirements of power-sharing government in Northern Ireland, the resignation of the DUP First Minister forces the resignation of the Sinn Féin deputy First Minister, Michelle O'Neill.  

    Checks and controls on goods arriving at Northern Ireland ports continue despite DUP Agriculture Minister Poots issuing an order for these to be stopped. Spokesman for the UK Prime Minister says the government is "reviewing the legal position". MEPs release a statement condemning the Agriculture Minister's action. 

    Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič discuss progress on UK-EU technical talks about the Protocol. Separate UK and EU statements are released. 

    2 February
    Northern Ireland DUP Minister for Agriculture, Edwin Poots, orders cessation of checks and controls at Northern Ireland ports from midnight. 

    27 January
    UK Foreign Secretary and Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Liz Truss, meets with political leaders and business representatives during a visit to Northern Ireland. Speaking from Belfast Truss said she wants "a deal that works for everyone" and described ongoing talks as "constructive" while also stating that the UK government would trigger Article 16 if necessary and suggesting it would be a "matter for the Executive" if officials were ordered to stop checks required under the Protocol by DUP Minister for Agriculture, Edwin Poots. 

    26 January
    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces those MPs and Peers appointed to the UK delegation to the UK-EU Parliamentary Partnership Assembly set up under Article 11 of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement. 

    24 January
    Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič issue a short joint statement after their second in-person meeting in Brussels. The statement described the "constructive atmosphere" of the meeting and said officials would continue to meet this week with the two Co-Chairs meeting again the week after. 

    EU Co-Chair Šefčovič later issued a more detailed statement and UK Co-Chair Truss commented on developments in UK-EU talks during a media interview. 

    21 January
    Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee, speak by videocall after a week of talks between UK and EU officials. Both issue short statements from respective UK and EU perspectives. Talks continue. 

    20 January
    Writing in the Belfast Telegraph UK Foreign Secretary and Co-Chair of the Joint Committee says the "Protocol must be changed to protect the hard-won peace" in Northern Ireland" while also stating her belief that the UK and EU "can bridge the gaps" and "iron out the issues" in the context of ongoing talks about its implementation. 

    13-14 January
    Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee, European Commission Vice-President, Maros Šefčovič and UK Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, hold their first in-person meeting at Chevening, England. The Co-Chairs release a short joint statement describing the "cordial atmosphere" and shared "desire for a positive relationship".

    Officials will hold intensified talks next week and principals are due to meet again on 24 January. 

    12 January
    Figures in the latest Northern Ireland Chamber Quarterly Economic Survey suggest EU exit has had a negative impact on the business performance of a majority (62%) of NI firms but a majority (57%) have also 'adapted well' or are 'dealing with it now' after initial difficulties.

    8 January 
    Writing in The Telegraph newspaper, UK Foreign Secretary and Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Liz Truss, states her willingness to "trigger Article 16 [of the Protocol] if the EU does not cooperate" while also suggesting there "is a deal to be done" between the UK and EU on the implementation of the Protocol.