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Northern Ireland Assembly

The Northern Ireland Assembly is taking a strong interest in the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and its implementation. At plenary sessions of the Assembly, the Protocol and related issues are regularly debated. Links to key plenary debates regarding implementation of the Protocol are included below.

Most of the scrutiny of the Protocol’s implementation is being undertaken by Northern Ireland Assembly Committees. Given the breath of devolved policy areas impacted by the Protocol a range of Committees are involved in this work, including the Committee for the Executive Office (CEO); the Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (CAERA); the Committee for Health (CH); the Committee for Justice (CJ); the Committee for the Economy (CE); the Committee of Finance (CF); the Committee for Infrastructure (CI); and the Ad Hoc Committee for Bill of Rights (CBR). The work of all of these Committees can be accessed here. Key activities relating to the Protocol are listed below.

The Assembly also has a dedicated Brexit Scrutiny webpage that provides links to relevant evidence sessions, correspondence, briefing and research papers, and official and other reports. It also produces a weekly Brexit and Beyond newsletter.

 September 2021 +

DATECOMMITTEE/ PLENARYACTIVITYISSUES COVERED
04.10.2021  Plenary  Members' Statements 
29.09.2021  CEO 
Oral Evidence: 
Committee heard from Junior Executive Ministers, Declan Kearney and Gary Middleton on UK exit from the EU and related issues. 
28.09.2021  Plenary 
Members' Statements
27.09.2021  Plenary  Ministerial Questions: TEO and DF 
21.09.2021  Plenary  Ministerial Questions: DfE
20.09.2021  Plenary  Ministerial Questions: DfE 
15.09.2021  CF 
Oral Evidence: 
Committee heard from the Road Haulage Association and Ulster Farmers' Union on matters relating to EU Exit and the Protocol.  
14.09.2021
Plenary 
Members' Statements and Ministerial Questions: DAERA 
Brexit / Customs Checks / Protocol Difficulties: North/South Discussions / NSMC: DUP Boycott
13.09.2021
Plenary 
Members' Statements and Ministerial Questions: TEO 

 December 2020 - July 2021

DATECOMMITTEE/ PLENARYACTIVITYISSUES COVERED
09.07.2021  CEO  Oral Evidence: Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland
Committee briefed by Cabinet Officer Minister and UK Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Lord Frost on the current and future workings of the Protocol. 
05.07.2021 Plenary Assembly Business: Matters of the Day EU-UK Relations and Solutions to the Implementation of the Protocol
30.06.2021 CF Oral Evidence: Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland
Committee heard from: Professor Katy Hayward of Queen's University Belfast; Dr Anna Jerzewska, Director of Trade & Borders consultancy; Barrister Martin Howe QC; and David Henig, Director of the UK Trade Policy Project at the European Centre for International Political Economy on the implementation of the Protocol and its implications.
30.06.2021 CEO Oral Evidence: UK Exit from the EU
Committee heard from Junior Executive Ministers, Declan Kearney and Gary Middleton on UK exit from the EU and related issues.
28.06.2021 Plenary Ministerial Questions: TEO and DfE
28.06.2021 CEO Oral Evidence: Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland
Committee held extra-ordinary meeting with European Commission Vice-President and Co-Chair of the EU-UK Joint Committee, Maroš Šefčovič, to discuss the current and future workings of the Protocol. 
23.06.2021  CF 
Committee heard from University of Cambridge’s Graham Gudgin; University College London’s, Professor Ronan McCrea, and Queen’s University Belfast’s Professor David Phinnemore on the implementation of the Protocol and its implications.   
16.06.2021
 
Plenary 
Ministerial Questions: DH
03.06.2021 
CAERA 
Committee heard from Minister of Agriculture, Edwin Poots, and DAERA official, Robert Huey on the decision to withdraw DAERA and Local Authority staff from ports where checks on goods take place due to security concerns. 
26.05.2021
CEO 
Oral Evidence: EU Exit & SEUPB 
Committee heard from Junior Executive Ministers, Declan Kearney and Gordon Lyons on Brexit and related issues. Committee also heard from the Special EU Programmes Body Director, Gina McIntyre, and Programme Manager, Declan McGarrigle on PEACE PLUS programme.   
19.05.2021 CE  Oral Evidence: EU Exit
Committee heard from Department for Economy officials, from the EU exit preparation and transition group - Shane Murphy (SO), Alan Ramsey and Giulia Ní Dhulchaointigh. 
18.05.2021  Plenary 
Ministerial Questions: DH
17.05.2021
Plenary
Ministerial Questions: TEO and Members' Business
10.05.2021
Plenary 
Ministerial Questions: DfE
06.05.2021
CAERA
Committee heard from PSNI Chief Constable Mark McEwan and Chief Constable Bobby Singleton on the withdrawal of DAERA and Local Authority staff from ports due to security concerns. 
05.05.2021 CI Oral Evidence: EU Successor Funding Committee heard from NILGA Chief Executive, Derek McCallan, and head of performance and partnerships at NILGA, Lisa O’Kane and the Director of SOLACE, John Tully.   
04.05.2021  Plenary 
Ministerial Questions: TEO 
29.04.2021 CBR 
Oral Evidence: Brexit and Human Rights 
Committee heard from NIHRC Chief Commissioner, Les Allamby; NIHRC Head of the Dedicated Mechanism EU Withdrawal Team, Ellis Haughey; Equality Commission Chief Commissioner, Geraldine McGahey; and Equality Commission Director of the Dedicated Mechanism Unit, Roisin Mallon about Article 2 of the Protocol concerning rights.
29.04.2021  CAERA 
Committee heard from Siobhan Toland and Suzanne Wylie from Belfast City Council and Eoin Devlin and Marie Ward from Newry, Mourne and Down District Council on the withdrawal of DAERA and Local Authority staff from ports due to security concerns. 
28.04.2021  CEO 
Oral Evidence: Brexit Issues
Committee heard from Junior Executive Ministers, Gordon Lyons and Declan Kearney on Brexit and related issues. 
22.04.2021  CAERA
Committee heard from Anne Donaghy and Peter Johnston from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council about the withdrawal of DAERA and Local Authority staff from ports due to security concerns. 
19.04.2021  Plenary 
Private Members Business: Caoimhe Archibald MLA
15.04.2021  CAERA 
Oral Evidence: Withdrawal of Staff from Ports (PSNI / DAERA) 
Committee heard from Assistant Chief Constable Bobby Singleton from the PSNI and from Robert Huey, Mark Livingstone and Denis McMahon from DAERA on the withdrawal of DAERA and Local Authority staff from ports due to security concerns. 
14.04.2021  CH 
Oral Evidence: Brexit and Health 
Committee heard from Department of Health officials – Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Cathy Harrison; Senior Principal Officer in the EU Exit Transition Unit, Eimear Smyth and EU Exit Lead on Reciprocal Healthcare and Workforce Issues, Patricia Quinn-Duffy – about the implications of Brexit on health. 
14.04.2021  CEO  Oral Evidence: Protocol Article 2
 
Committee heard from NIHRC Chief Commissioner, Les Allamby; Equality Commission Chief Commissioner, Geraldine McGahey; and Michael Finucane from the IHREC about the implications and implementation of Article 2 of the Protocol regarding rights.
24.03.2021  CEO 
Oral Evidence: UK Exit from EU 
Committee heard from Angela McGowan of the Confederation of British Industry NI; Fergal O’Brien of the Irish Business and Employers Confederation; and Michael D’Arcy of the IBEC-CBI Northern Ireland Joint Business Council regarding UK exit from the EU and business adjustment in the post-Brexit period. 
24.03.2021 
Concurrent CAERA, CE, CI 

Oral Evidence: Impact of Protocol 

Concurrent Committee for Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs, Committee for Economy and Committee for Infrastructure regarding the implementation of the Protocol. Committee heard from Aidan Reilly and Julie Etheridge from HMRC, Christian Benson from Fujitsu, Trader Support Service (TSS) and Mary Scullion from Fujitsu TSS about the implementation of the TSS. 
22.03.2021  Plenary 
Ministerial Questions: TEO 
11.03.2021  CAERA 
Committee heard from Alan Perry from GMB union, Alan Law from NIPSA union and Kieran Ellison from Unite union about the withdrawal of DAERA and Local Authority staff from ports due to security concerns. 
09.03.2021  Plenary 
Ministerial Questions: DfE
08.03.2021  Plenary 
Matter of the Day: Declan McAleer MLA 
04.03.2021 
CAERA 
Oral Evidence: Brexit and Ports 
Committee heard from DAERA staff – Norman Fulton, Robert Huey, Mark Livingstone and Denis McMahon – about the building of permanent border control post facilities and regarding checks on goods at ports and points of entry.
25.2.2021
CAERA
Oral Evidence: EU Exit and TCA 
Committee heard from DAERA officials: Seamus McErlean, Chief Economist; Mark McLean, principal agricultural economist; and Tommy McNamara, Staff Officer in the environmental farm branch, on the impact of EU Exit and the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. 
24.02.2021
CE Oral Evidence: EU Exit and Protocol
 
Committee heard from Head of External Affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses, Roger Pollen; NI Policy Manager for Logistics UK, Seamus Leheny; Director of NI Retail Consortium, Aodhán Connolly; and Chief Executive of Retail NI, Glyn Roberts on the impact of Brexit and the Protocol on the NI economy. 
24.02.2021  CEO 
Oral Evidence: Brexit Issues 
Committee heard from Junior Executive Ministers, Gary Middleton and Declan Kearney on Brexit and related issues. 
17.02.2021  CI  Oral Evidence: Brexit and Ports
Committee heard from Maurice Bullick from Belfast Harbour Commissioners, Riccardo Tonelli from Larne Harbour Ltd, Brian McGrath from Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners and David Holmes from Warrenpoint Harbour Authority regarding the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland ports. 
16.02.2021  Plenary 
Ministerial Questions: DfE 
10.02.2021  CEO 
Oral Evidence: Protocol Article 2
Committee heard from Executive Office officials – Head of Equality, Rights and Identity Division, Siobhan Broderick, and Head of the Equality, Human Rights and Delivering Social Change Division, Janet Johnson – about the implications and implementation of Article 2 of the Protocol regarding rights.
10.02.2021  CEO 
Committee heard from members of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement on various issues including the impact of Brexit and the Protocol. 
08.02.2021  Plenary 
Ministerial Questions: TEO  
04.02.2021  CAERA 
Committee heard from DAERA staff, Ciaran Cunningham and Owen Lyttle, on the implications of Brexit for local fishing fleet.   
02.02.2021  Plenary 
Ministerial Questions: DAERA 
01.02.2021  Plenary 
Ministerial Questions: DF 
27.01.2021  CEO 
Oral Evidence: Brexit Issues 
Committee heard evidence from Junior Executive Ministers, Gordon Lyons and Declan Kearney on Brexit and related issues. 
27.01.2021  CI 
Oral Evidence: Brexit and Protocol 
Committee heard from Department of Infrastructure officials – Head of Brexit Planning, Ciaran Crosbie; Acting Deputy Secretary for Resources, Governance and EU Group, Linda MacHugh; official from Gateways and EU Relations, Graeme Banks; and official from Safe and Accessible Travel Directorate, Chris Hughes – on issues arising from UK exit from the EU and the Protocol. 
20.01.2021  CI 
Oral Evidence: Brexit and Protocol 
Committee heard from Patrick Derry from Derry Refrigerated Transport, Seamus Leheny from Logistics UK, Chris Slowley from Manfreight, Paul Jackson from McBurney Transport, Darry Morgan from Morgan McLernon, Aodhán Connolly from NI Retail Consortium and John Martin from the Road Haulage Association on issues facing the transport and retail sectors as a result of Brexit. 
20.01.2021  CE 
Oral Evidence: TCA and Protocol 
Committee heard from Queen’s University Belfast Professors Katy Hayward and David Phinnemore on the impact of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement and the implementation of the Protocol. 
19.01.2021  CAERA 
Committee heard from Alan McCulla from the Anglo-North Irish Fish Producers’ Organisation and Harry Wick from the Northern Ireland Fish Producers’ Organisation on the impact of EU Exit on the fishing industry. 
18.01.2021  Plenary 
Ministerial Questions: DAERA, DOJ, DfE. 
13.01.2021  CEO  Committee heard from joint secretary of the North South Ministerial Council, Tim Losty, and Executive Office official lead on EU future relations, Lorraine Lynas about the impact of Brexit on North-South and East-West relations and institutions.
 
07.01.2021  CAERA 
Oral Evidence: Brexit and the Protocol 
Committee heard from DAERA officials – Norman Fulton, Robert Huey, Nicole McArthur, Denis McMahon and David Small - about operational and practical issues arising from EU Exit and the Protocol. 
31.12.2020 Plenary 
Executive Committee Business