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House of Commons

There are two Committees in the House of Commons with responsibility for scrutinizing the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

Primary responsibility lies with the European Scrutiny Committee. In its 2020 scoping exercise on how to ensure effective scrunity of the UK's post-Brexit relationship with the EU, it noted the need for scrutiny of the Joint Committee, the Specialised Committee, and the Joint Consultative Working Group. It called on the UK Government to: ensure advance publication of agendas, provide a pre-brief from Ministers on the UK’s position (in private if sensitive), and supply a post-meeting statement. It also called on the UK Government to provide intelligence about the development of proposals for EU legislation that will apply under the Protocol, early sight of proposals, and explanatory memoranda.

The work of the European Scrutiny Committee (ESC) can be accessed here. Key activities relating to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland are listed below. 

Also taking a keen interest in the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland is the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee (NIAC). Its work can be accessed here. Key activities relating to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland are listed below.

 

DateCommitteeActivityIssues Covered
28.04.2021 NIAC Oral Evidence: Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol Committee heard from: Ulster Farmers' Union Hill Farming Policy Officer, Daryl McLaughlin; Nation Beef Association CEO, Neil Shand; National Sheep Association Chief Executive, Phil Stocker; and Holstein NI Field Develpment Officer, John Martin. 
21.04.2021 NIAC Oral Evidence: Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol Committee heard from: HMRC Client Managing Director & Fujitsu Senior Responsible Owner for the Trader Support Service, Christian Benson; Fujitsu Head of Delivery for the Trader Support Service, Mary Scullion; and Trader Support Service Consortium Senior Member & Competere Customs and Trade Policy Lead, Shanker Singham. 
09.04.2021  ESC  Report: Northern Ireland Protocol: Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee Decisions and declarations of 17 December 2020 Forty-First Report of Session 2019–21  Report reviews decisions taken by the UK-EU Joint Committee in December 2020, and supplementary UK and EU unilateral declarations, concerning the operation of the Protocol. Its purpose is to identify the implications of these for Northern Ireland and the UK's approach to implementing the Protocol.
30.03.2021 ESC Report: Documents Considered by the Committee on 24 March 2021 Forty-Second Report of Session Notes recent EU documents regarding the legality of timber imports and regulations concerning batteries for electric vehicles that are relevant to the implementation of the Protocol
17.03.2021 NIAC Oral Evidence: Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol  Committee heard from: Lynas Foodservice Managing Director, Andrew Lynas; Hospitality Ulster Chief Executive, Colin Neill; and Retail NI Chief Executive, Glyn Roberts.  
24.02.2021 NIAC Oral Evidence: Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol Committee heard from: Ulster University Business School Senior Economist, Dr Esmond Birnie; European Centre for International Political Economy Director of UK Trade Policy Project, David Henig; and Centre for European Reform Senior Research Fellow, Sam Lowe. 
10.02.2021 NIAC Oral Evidence: Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol  Committee heard from: Stena Line Head of UK Port Authorities; AM Nexday Business Development Manager, Sarah Hards; Allied Fleet Service Managing Director, Stephen McAneney; DFDS Northern Ireland Managing Director, Nick McCullough.  
06.01.2021 NIAC Oral Evidence: Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol  Committee heard from: Ulster Farmers Union President, Victor Chestnutt; Northern Ireland Retail Consortium Director, Aodhán Connolly; and Logistics UK Northern Ireland Policy Manager, Seamus Leheny.  
05.10.2020 ESC Oral Evidence: UK parliamentary scrutiny of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee and application of the Northern Ireland Protocol  Committee heard from: UK deputy representative on Joint Committee & Paymaster General, Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP; and Cabinet Office Transition Task Force Director, Brendan Threlfall. 
08.07.2020 NIAC Report: Unfettered Access: Customs Arrangements in Northern Ireland after Brexit Summarises findings from the Committee's inquiry into the customs arrangements for Northern Ireland under the Protocol and their implications on internal UK trade and the Northern Ireland economy. A UK government response to the report was published 14 Sept 2020