Overall responsibility for the implementation of the Protocol rests with the UK-EU Joint Committee that oversees implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement generally. It comprises EU and UK representatives at ministerial/Commissioner or senior official level. Its roles and responsibilities are set out in Article 164 of the Withdrawal Agreement. Chief among them is the adoption of formal Decisions (Article 166), several of which concerning the implementation of the Protocol were adopted in December 2020. A number of unilateral declarations concerning inter alia grace periods for the implementation of certain obligations under the Protocol was also adopted and noted.
The EU's position in the Joint Committee is determined in line with Article 2 of Council Decision (EU) 2020/135. The Decision also provides for member state representatives to accompany the Commission at meetings. Ireland is specifically mentioned, although representatives of other members have also attended meetings.
The UK government is committed to ensuring that representatives from the Northern Ireland Executive are invited to be part of the UK delegation in any meetings of the Joint Committee discussing Northern Ireland-specific matters which are also being attended by the Irish Government as part of the EU delegation.
The Withdrawal Agreement provides for annual meetings of the Joint Committee, but in practice it meets more frequently - four meetings were envisaged for 2021, for example - and between meetings there is often formal correspondence been the co-chairs from the UK government and the European Commission.
Details of the meetings and the correspondence between the co-chairs are provided below.
The formal Decisions adopted and the unilateral declarations noted by the Uk and the EU on the Joint Committee are available here.
|15.04.2021||Informal Meeting of Co-Chairs: statements - European Commission, UK Government|
|24.02.2021||Sixth Meeting: agenda, joint statement|
|11.02.2021||Informal Meeting of Co-Chairs: Joint Statement (Gove and Šefčovič)|
|03.02.2021||Informal Meeting of Co-Chairs: Joint Statement (Gove and Šefčovič)|
|17.12.2020||Fifth Meeting: agenda, summary minutes, statements - European Commission, UK Government,|
|08.12.2020||Informal Meeting of Co-Chairs: Joint Statement (Gove and Šefčovič)|
|19.10.2020||Fourth Meeting: agenda, statements - European Commission, UK Government|
|28.09.2020||Third Meeting: agenda, statements - European Commission, UK Government|
|10.09.2020||Extraordinary Meeting: no agenda, statements - European Commission, UK Government|
|12.06.2020||Second Meeting: agenda, statements - European Commission, UK Government,|
|30.03.2020||First Meeting: agenda, statements - European Commission, UK Government|
|19.03.2020||Joint Statement of Co-Chairs (Gove and Šefčovič)|