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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 scrutiny 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.

 

DATECOMMITTEE ACTIVITYISSUES COVERED
07.07.2021  ESC  Report: Report reviews recent EU documents including the implications of the EU’s critical infrastructure directive for the Single Electricity Market and the possible impact of the EU’s Gender Equality Strategy for the operation of the Protocol. 
23.06.2021 NIAC Oral Evidence: Work of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Committee heard from Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis MP, Northern Ireland Office (Political) Director Mark Larmour and Northern Ireland Office (Economy) Director, Colin Perry, on UK government approach to NI generally and to implementation of the Protocol in particular. 
23.06.2021  ESC  Report: Report reviews recent EU documents including those related to the EU Machinery Directive, and proposed changes to EU law in respect to animal feed, and the implication of these for the operation of the Protocol.
22.06.2021  FAC  Oral Evidence: Committee heard from Cabinet Office Minister of State, Lord Frost, Director General of the EU Secretariat in the Cabinet Office, Matthew Taylor and Head of the UK Mission to the EU, Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby. 
16.06.2021  Chamber  Ministerial Questions: Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis, answered questions on the implementation of the Protocol and negotiations with Vice-President of the European Commission on the matter. 
16.06.2021 NIAC Oral Evidence: Committee heard from Cabinet Office Minister of State, Lord Frost, and Deputy Director of the Transition Task Force Northern Ireland at Cabinet Office, Mark Davies. 
09.06.2021  ESC  Report: Report reviews recent EU documents regarding, in particular the EU’s PEACE PLUS Programme. 
09.06.2021  NIAC  Oral Evidence: Committee heard from Progressive Unionist Party Leader and Belfast City Councillor, Billy Hutchinson and Journalist and Author, Susan McKay.
26.05.2021  NIAC  Oral Evidence: Committee heard from Progressive Unionist Party Belfast City Councillor John Kyle and CEO of Cooperation Northern Ireland, Peter Sheridan. 
26.05.2021 ESC  Report: Report reviews recent EU documents regarding a proposal for a Network and Information Systems Directive; proposals for Council Decisions regarding forest reproductive material and checks on agricultural plants; and the EU’s Smart Mobility Strategy. 
19.05.2021 NIAC  Oral Evidence: Committee heard from: Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) Chairman, David Campbell CBE and LCC Members Joel Keys, Jim Wilson and Councillor Russell Watton on Brexit and the Protocol.
17.5.2021 ESC Oral Evidence:  Committee heard from: Cabinet Office Minister, Lord David Frost; Northern Ireland/Ireland Unit Director at the Cabinet Office, Rebecca Ellis; and Director General of the Border at Protocol Delivery Group at the Cabinet Office, Emma Churchill. 
12.05.2021 ESC Report: Report reviews recent EU documents including a proposed EU Directive on the protection of critical infrastructure that is of relevance to Article 9 of the Protocol.
28.4.2021 NIAC Oral Evidence:  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 Development Officer, John Martin.
21.04.2021  ESC  Report: Report reviews recent EU documents including the EU import licensing scheme for cultural goods of relevance to the implementation of the Protocol. 
21.4.2021 NIAC Oral Evidence:  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. 
14.04.2021  ESC  Report: Report reviews recent EU documents including those concerning the legality of timber imports and regulations concerning batteries for electric vehicles of relevance to the Protocol.
9.4.2021 ESC Report: 

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.

A UK government response was published on 6 July 2021.

30.3.2021 ESC Report:  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.
17.3.2021 NIAC Oral Evidence:  Committee heard from: Lynas Foodservice Managing Director, Andrew Lynas; Hospitality Ulster Chief Executive, Colin Neill; and Retail NI Chief Executive, Glyn Roberts. 
17.3.2021 ESC Report: Report reviews recent EU documents including those concerning EU regulations on market access for goods from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries of relevance to the Protocol. 
10.03.2021 ESC Report: Report reviews recent EU documents including those concerning EU implementation powers under the EU VAT Directive of relevance to the Protocol. 
24.2.2021  NIAC  Oral Evidence:  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.  
10.2.2021  NIAC  Oral Evidence:  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. 
10.02.2021 ESC Report: Report reviews recent EU documents including those concerning the application of EU preferential rules of origin and their implications for the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. 
03.02.2021 ESC Report: Report reviews recent EU documents including those concerning the application of EU tariff rate quotes and its implications for the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. 
20.01.2021 ESC Report: Report reviews recent EU documents including those concerning batteries for electric vehicles that are relevant to the implementation of the Protocol. 
6.1.2021  NIAC  Oral Evidence:  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.  
5.10.2020  ESC  Oral Evidence:  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. 
8.7.2020  NIAC  Report:  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.