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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
16.07.2021 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.