Skip to main content

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
28.09.2021 ESC Report: Documents Considered by the Committee on 22 September 2021 Report reviews recent EU documents and includes consideration of the possible implications of a draft EU Machinery Regulation and draft EU Energy Taxation Directive on Northern Ireland as a consequence of the Protocol. 
22.09.2021 ESC Correspondence: Letter from the Chair to Helen Whatley MP regarding Northern Ireland Protocol: Draft EU Energy Taxation Directive Letter from Committee Chair, Sir William Cash, to Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Helen Whately MP, about the potential implications of the EU's new Energy Taxation Directive (ETD) on Northern Ireland under the Protocol. 
22.09.2021 ESC Correspondence: Letter from the Chair to Rt Hon Michael Ellis MP regarding Protocol for an EU Directive on the resilience of critical entities Letter from Committee Chair, Sir William Cash, to Paymaster General, Michael Ellis QC MP, about the potential implications of a proposed new EU Directive on the resilience of critical entities on Northern Ireland under the Protocol. 
03.08.2021 NIAC Correspondence: Letter from the Minister of State for Northern Ireland relating to Cross-border co-operation on policing, security and criminal justice after Brexit Letter from Robin Walker MP responding to Committee Chairman Simon Hoare MPs recent correspondence concerning cross-border policing after Brexit. 
19.07.2021 ESC Report: Documents Considered by the Committee on 19 July 2021 Sixth Report of Session 2021-22 Report reviews recent EU documents including the implications of an EU proposal to revoke EU laws concerning the feeding of certain animal proteins to non-ruminant animals on the agri-food sector in Northern Ireland and the implications of EU proposal for a digital database of catch certificates for fishery products which would apply to products moving GB-NI and NI-GB.
19.07.2021 ESC Correspondence: Letter from the Chair Sir William Cash MP to Minister of State for Northern Ireland Robin Walker MP Letter from Sir William Cash MP to Robin Walker MP about the possible implications of new EU proposal to strengthen the application of the principle of equal pay on Article 2(1) of the Protocol regarding human rights and equality. 
14.07.2021 NIAC Correspondence: Letter to the Minister of State for Northern Ireland relating to Cross-border co-operation on policing, security and criminal justice after Brexit Letter from Simon Hoare MP to Robin Walker MP about the government's response to Committee report Cross-border cooperation on policing, security and criminal justice after Brexit which set out a range of challenges for cross-border policing in the post-Brexit context.
12.07.2021 NIAC Correspondence: Letter from Vice-President of the European Commission relating to the Northern Ireland Protocol Letter from Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič to Simon Hoare MP responding to earlier correspondence regarding the transparency of Protocol oversight bodies and accessibility of information relating to the implementation of the Protocol. 
07.07.2021  ESC  Report: Documents Considered by the Committee on 7 July 2021 Fifth Report of Session 2021-22  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: Documents Considered by the Committee on 23 June 2021 Fourth Report of Session 2021-22  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: UK’s Relationship with the EU  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. 
18.06.2021 NIAC Correspondence: Letter from the NI Minister for the Economy, relating to the Northern Ireland Protocol Letter from NI Minister for the Economy, Paul Frew MLA, to Committee Chair, Simon Hoare MP, regarding the implementation of the Protocol in general and mechanisms for monitoring and applying relevant changes in EU law in particular. 
16.06.2021  Chamber  Ministerial Questions: Northern Ireland Office 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: Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol 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: Documents Considered by the Committee on 9 June 2021 Third Report of Session 2021-22 Report reviews recent EU documents regarding, in particular the EU’s PEACE PLUS Programme. 
09.06.2021  NIAC  Oral Evidence: Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol  Committee heard from Progressive Unionist Party Leader and Belfast City Councillor, Billy Hutchinson and Journalist and Author, Susan McKay.
07.06.2021 NIAC Correspondence: Letter to the NI Minister for the Economy relating to the Northern Ireland Protocol Letter from Committee Chair, Simon Hoare MP, to NI Minister for the Economy, Diane Dodds MLA, regarding the implementation of the Protocol generally and mechanisms for monitoring and applying relevant changes in EU law in particular.  
26.05.2021  NIAC  Oral Evidence: Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol Committee heard from Progressive Unionist Party Belfast City Councillor John Kyle and CEO of Cooperation Northern Ireland, Peter Sheridan. 
26.05.2021 ESC  Report: Documents Considered by the Committee on 26 May 2021 Second Report of Session 2021-22  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. 
26.05.2021 ESC Correspondence: Letter from Chair Sir William Cash MP to Minister of State for Northern Ireland Robin Walker MP Letter from Sir William Cash MP to Robin Walker MP about the possible implications of new EU proposal to strengthen the application of the principle of equal pay on Article 2(1) of the Protocol regarding human rights and equality. 
19.05.2021 NIAC  Oral Evidence: Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol  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: The UK's new relationship with the EU 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: Documents Considered by the Committee on 12 May 2021 First Report of Session 2021-22  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: 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 Development Officer, John Martin.
21.04.2021  ESC  Report: Documents Considered by the Committee on 24 April 2021 Forty-Fourth Report of Session 2019-21  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: 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. 
14.04.2021  ESC  Report: Documents Considered by the Committee on 14 April 2021 Forty-Third Report of Session 2019-21  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: 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. A UK government response was published on 6 July 2021.
30.3.2021 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.
17.3.2021 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. 
17.3.2021 ESC Report: Documents Considered by the Committee on 17 March 2021 Fortieth Report of Session 2019-21 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: Documents Considered by the Committee on 10 March 2021 Thirty-Ninth Report of Session 2019-21 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: 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.  
10.2.2021  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. 
10.02.2021 ESC Report: Documents Considered by the Committee on 10 February 2021 Thirty-seventh Report of Session 2019-21 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: Documents Considered by the Committee on 3 February 2021 Thirty-fifth Report of Session 2019-21 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: Documents Considered by the Committee on 20 January 2021 Thirty-fourth Report of Session 2019-21 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: 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.  
5.10.2020  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. 
8.7.2020  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.