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House of Lords

The House of Lords plays a prominent role in parliamentary scrutiny of the post-Brexit UK-EU relationship and the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

It has particularly responsibilities given that the current UK minister responsible for UK-EU relations and the UK co-chair of the UK-EU Joint Committee, David Frost, is a member of the House of Lords. As such, it is on the floor of the House of Lords, not the House of Commons, that Frost, can answer parliamentary questions. 

The House of Lords committee with primary responsibility for scrutinizing the post-Brexit UK-EU relationship is the European Affairs Committee set up in April 2021 following a review of scrutiny arrangements. 

A dedicated Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Sub-committee has also been established, albeit on a temporary basis with a review to be held in November 2022.

The work of the European Affairs Committee (EAC) can be accessed here. The work of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Sub-committee (PINISC) can be accessed here. Key activities relating to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland are listed below. 

The European Affairs Committee replaced the European Union Committee (EUC) which, prior to April 2021, had been paying particular attention to the implementation of the Protocol as evidenced by its work (available here), especially its regular correspondence with the UK government and evidence sessions. Key activities relating to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland are listed below.  

DateCommittee ActivityNotes
28.09.2021 PINISC Report: Government's response to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Sub-Committee's introductory report The UK government sets out their response to the introductory report of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Sub-Committee published on 29 July 2021. 
27.09.2021 PINISC Correspondence: Correspondence Exchanged up to week ending 17 September 2021 Summary of committee members correspondence with UK Ministers concerning the work of the committee between 26 March 2021 and 17 September 2021.
16.09.2021 PINISC Oral Evidence: Article 2 of the Protocol (rights of individuals) Committee heard evidence from Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) Chief Commissioner, Alyson Kilpatrick; NIHRC Head of 'Dedicated Mechanism' Service, Eilis Haughey; Equality Commission Director of the 'Dedicated Mechanism' Unit, Roisin Mallon; and Equality Commission Chief Commissioner, Geraldine McGahey on the operation of Article 2 of the Protocol concerning individual rights. 
15.09.2021 Constitution
Committee

Oral Evidence: Future Governance of the UK

Committee heard the persepctive of DUP leader Sir Jeffery Donaldson on the future governance of the UK and specifically arrangements for intergovernmantal relations and processes concerning legislative consent.  

13.09.2021 Grand Committee

Debate: Reports on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

The Lords debated two reports on the Protocol: a report by the European Union Committee on 'The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland' and the Introductory Report by the European Affairs Committee's dedicated Sub-Committee on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. 

29.07.2021 PINISC Report: PINISC Introductory Report 2nd Report of Session 2021-22 Introductory report from the European Affairs Committee dedicated Sub-Committee on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. The report assesses the economic, social and political impact of the implementation of the Protocol thus far. 
28.07.2021 PINISC Correspondence: Letter from Rt Hon Lord Frost CMG to Lord Jay of Ewelme Letter from Cabinet Office Minister and UK Chair of the Joint Committee, Lord Frost, to Sub-Committee Chair, Lord Jay, following up on certain issues raised during oral evidence session. In particular the letter details the number of relevant EU law measures that the UK has been notified of at the JCWG. 
23.07.2021 PINISC Correspondence: Letters from Lord Jay to Rt Hon Lord Benyon and Irish Ambassador HE Adrian O'Neill Letters from Sub-Committee Chair, Lord Jay, to DEFRA Junior Minister for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, Rt Hon Lord Benyon, about the implications of an EU amending regulation concerning the prohibition of certain kinds of animal feed that applies under the Protocol, on Northern Ireland. Lord Jay also writes to the Irish Ambassador, HE Adrian O'Neill on the same issue to request information about the Irish governments' position on the proposal and assessments of likely impact on the agri-food industry on the island of Ireland. 
21.07.2021 EAC Correspondence: Correspondence with Ministers March - June 2021 Summary of committee members correspondence with UK Ministers concerning the work of the committee between March 2021 and June 2021. 
14.07.2021 PINISC Oral Evidence: Operation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern
Ireland
Committee heard from Cabinet Office Minister and UK Chair of the Joint Committee, Lord Frost; officials from the Northern Ireland/Ireland Unit in the Cabinet Office, Rebecca Ellis and Mark Davies. 
24.06.2021 EAC Oral Evidence: UK-EU Relations Committee heard from Ambassador of the EU to the UK, João Vale de Almeida on UK-EU relations including disccusion of EU and UK approaches to the Protocol. 
16.06.2021  PINISC  Oral Evidence: Operation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland  Committee heard from Director of Northern Ireland Rural Women’s Network, Louise Coyle, Irish News Columnist, Tom Kelly, and former Chief of Staff to Prime Minsiter Tony Blair, Jonathan Powell.
09.06.2021 PINISC  Oral Evidence: Operation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland  Committee heard from Professor of Political Sociology, Katy Hayward, at Queen’s University Belfast, Professor Peter Shirlow Director of the Institute of Irish Studies at University of Liverpool and Dr Esmond Birnie Senior Economist at Ulster University. 
26.05.2021  PINISC  Oral Evidence: Operation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Committee heard from Cooperation Ireland Chief Executive, Peter Sheridan, Greater Shankill Partnership CEO, Jackie Redpath and former Northern Ireland Office senior official, Mary Madden. 
19.05.2021  PINISC  Oral Evidence: Operation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland  Committee heard from Aodhán Connolly, Northern Ireland Retail Consortium director; Seamus Leheny, Logistics UK Policy Manager for Northern Ireland Stuart Anderson, CBI Northern Ireland Senior Policy Advisor; and Stephen Kelly, Manufacturing NI CEO on the operation of the Protocol. 
29.04.2021  PINISC  Correspondence: Letter from Lord Frost to Lord Kinnoull on the JCWG  UK co-chair of Joint Committee, Lord Frost, writes in response to EUC Chair, Lord Kinnoull’s letter of 2 March regarding the Joint Consultative Working Group (JCWG) established under Article 15 of the Protocol.
28.04.2021 PINISC  Correspondence: Letter from Lord Frost to Lord Kinnoull on the Protocol UK co-chair of Joint Committee, Lord Frost, wrote in response to EUC Chair, Lord Kinnoull’s, two letters of 11 March concerning unilateral measures taken by the UK government and a range of issues regarding the implementation of the Protocol. 
28.04.2021 PINISC Oral Evidence: Operation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Committee heard from Jess Sargeant, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Government and Professor Duncan Morrow, Lecturer in Politics at the University of Ulster on the operation of the Protocol. 
16.04.2021 PINISC  Correspondence: Letter from Brandon Lewis to Lord Kinnoull on the PEACE PLUS programme Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, wrote to update Chair of the EUC Lord Kinnoull on upcoming negotiations with the EU regarding the UK-EU Financing Agreement for the PEACE PLUS Programme. 
13.04.2021  PINISC  Correspondence: Letter from Lord Frost to Lord Kinnoull on JCWG UK co-chair of Joint Committee, Lord Frost, wrote in response to EUC Chair, Lord Kinnoull, letter of 2 March regarding the JCWG. 
25.03.2021 - Ministerial Questions to David Frost: Northern Ireland and Great Britain - Trade Lord Frost answered questions regarding the implications of implementing the Protocol on a range of issues. 
25.03.2021 - Ministerial Questions to David Frost - Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland  Lord Frost answered questions regarding the implications of implementing the Protocol on a range of issues. 
11.03.2021 EUC  Correspondence: Letter from Lord Kinnoull to Lord Frost on operation of the Protocol Chair of EUC, Lord Kinnoull, wrote to Lord Frost regarding problems with the operation of the Protocol; political and community tensions in Northern Ireland; the European Commissions’ near-triggering of Article 16 of the Protocol; provisions for inter-institutional dialogue and parliamentary scrutiny of the Protocol. 
11.03.2021  EUC Correspondence: Letter from Lord Kinnoull to Lord Frost on UK unilateral measures on the Protocol  Chair of EUC, Lord Kinnoull, wrote to Lord Frost regarding UK Government unilateral announcement of “temporary operations steps” in relation to the Protocol.  
09.03.2021 EUC  Oral Evidence: Future UK‑EU relations: governance Committee heard evidence from Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove MP, Prime Ministers’ representative on Brexit, Lord Frost, Head of UK Mission to the EU, Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby, Director-General of Task Force Europe, Matthew Taylor and Director of Transition Task Force NI, Brendan Threlfall 
02.03.2021  PINISC Correspondence: Letter from Lord Kinnoull to Lord Frost on JCWG Chair of the EUC, Lord Kinnoull, wrote to UK co-chair of the Joint Committee, Lord Frost, regarding the operation of the JCWG and its possible role in scrutinizing the implementation of the Protocol. 
01.06.2020 EUC  Report: The Protocol on Ireland/ Northern IrelandGovernment Response A report setting out a detailed analysis of the Protocol, assessing each of its Articles in turn and highlight key issues.