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Joint Consultative Working Group

Feeding into the work of the Specialized Committee is the Protocol’s own Joint Consultative Working Group. Its responsibilities are set out in Article 15 of the Protocol and serves as ‘a forum for the exchange of information and mutual consultation’. Consequently, the UK and the EU will use the JCWG to exchange ‘in a timely manner’ information about ‘planned, ongoing and final relevant implementation measures’ in relation to the EU acts covered by the Protocol. The EU will use the JCWG to inform the UK about planned acts within the scope of the Protocol, and provide the United Kingdom with ‘all information the Union considers relevant to allow the United Kingdom to fully comply with its obligations under the Protocol’. The UK has to provide the EU with ‘all information that Member States are required to provide to one another or to the institutions, bodies, offices or agencies of the Union pursuant to the Union acts listed in the Annexes to this Protocol’. The JCWG is co-chaired by the EU and the UK. The EU is obliged to ensure that all views expressed by the UK and all information the UK provides in the JCWG are communicated to the relevant EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies ‘without undue delay’.

The JCWG has its own rules of procedure. These were initially agreed in January 2021 and then amended in March 2023 as part of the Windsor Framework. The amendment allows for the establishment of 'structured sub-groups' to assist the JCWG in carrying out its functions as an effective forum for the exchange of information and mutual consultation. Five sub-groups are envisaged covering: goods regulation, the Single Electricity Market, customs, agri-food, and subsidy control

For a discussion of the roles of the JCWG, see here.

Following its first meeting in January 2021, the JCWG began meeting most months from April 2021. The dates of meetings are not publicised and neither the agenda nor the minutes of each meeting are published. According to the Joint Committee Annual Report for 2021:

"Throughout 2021, a regularised and functional process on information exchange was put in place between the EU and UK delegations, and the JCWG met eight times to discuss questions in relation to the information exchanged. In line with the obligations in the Protocol, the Union shared information with the UK pursuant to Article 15(3)(a), Article 15(3)(b), Article 15(3)(c) and Article 15(5) while the UK shared information with the Union pursuant to Article 15(3)(a), Article 15(3)(d) and Article 15(5). The co-chairs and secretariat developed collaborative processes for information exchange and mutual consultation." [Point 24]