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Call for Evidence

Written evidence

The House of Lords European Affairs Sub-Committee on the Protocol on Ireland/ Northern Ireland was appointed in April 2021, to consider all matters related to the Protocol. It published reports in July 2021 and July 2022 into the socio-economic and political impact of the Protocol, taking evidence from a wide range of witnesses. The Committee is now issuing a Call for Evidence for its new inquiry into the UK Government’s Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, alongside consideration of the Bill by the House of Lords in the autumn. The Committee welcomes submissions of written evidence via this Call for Evidence, which is intended to inform both the public debate and parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill.

If you wish to contribute your experience and expertise to the inquiry, please respond to the questions below. There is no obligation to answer every question.

The deadline for submissions is Midday on Thursday 3 November 2022.

Questions

Overview

(1) How would you summarise the impact (both positive and negative) of the Protocol as it currently operates on Northern Ireland?

(2) What is your overall assessment of the UK Government’s approach to the Protocol, including bringing forward the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill? To what extent will it alleviate the issues with the Protocol that it seeks to address?

(3) What is your assessment of the Government’s argument that the Bill, and the measures contained within it, are necessary to safeguard the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement?

Economic, political and legal impact of the Bill

(4) What impact will the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill have on the economic and political climate in Northern Ireland, and on North-South and East-West relations, if and when it comes into law?

(5) What is your assessment of the Government’s legal justification for the Bill? What would you identify as the principal legal issues and consequences arising in relation to the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill?

Specific aspects of the Bill

(6) What will be the practical and legal impact of the UK Government’s proposals for a dual regulatory regime for goods (clauses 7-11 of the Bill)?

(7) What will be the practical and legal impact of the disapplication of EU customs and goods regulations for specific goods destined for the UK or non-EU countries only, and to allow for the introduction of a system of red and green lanes (clauses 4-6)?

(8) What are the economic and legal implications of the Government’s proposals to disapply the provisions of the Protocol on State aid (clause 12)?

(9) What are the economic and legal implications of the Government’s proposals to give ministerial powers to override the provisions of the Protocol in relation to VAT/excise (clauses 17 and 24)?

(10) What are the practical and legal implications of removing the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK to oversee the implementation of the Protocol and stating that UK courts are not bound by decisions of the CJEU on matters related to the Protocol?

Article 16

(11) What would be the economic, political and legal implications of a decision by the UK Government to invoke Article 16? How would the EU respond?

The EU’s response

(12) What is your overall assessment of the EU’s approach in relation to the Protocol? Is the EU going far enough in addressing the problems that have arisen under the Protocol?

(13) What is your assessment of the EU’s response to the publication of the Bill, including the recommencement of paused and the launching of new infringement proceedings?

The way forward

(14) What, in your view, is the best way forward to resolve the current impasse?

(15) In the context of the recommencement of talks between the UK and the EU, how realistic is it to expect the issues which the Bill attempts to tackle to be addressed through a mutually agreed settlement with the EU?

(16) Do you see, and how would you describe, a potential landing zone for compromise and agreement between the two sides?

GUIDANCE FOR MAKING SUBMISSIONS

Written submissions should be made online using the form available at:

This is a public call for evidence. Please bring it to the attention of other groups and individuals who may wish to respond.

Short, concise submissions, of no more than six pages, are preferred. A longer submission should include a one-page summary. Paragraphs should be numbered. Submissions should be dated, with a note of the author’s name, and of whether the author is acting on an individual or corporate basis. All submissions made through the written submission form will be acknowledged automatically by email. This does not constitute formal acceptance of evidence by the Committee, which takes place when the Committee meets.

Personal contact details supplied to the Committee will be removed from submissions before publication but will be retained by the Committee staff for specific purposes relating to the Committee’s work, such as seeking additional information.

Submissions become the property of the Committee, which will decide whether to accept them as evidence. Evidence may be published by the Committee at any stage. It will normally appear on the Committee’s website and will be deposited in the Parliamentary Archives.

Once you have received notification that your submission has been accepted as evidence and published by the Committee, you may publicise or publish it yourself, but in doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee. If you publish your evidence separately, you should be aware that you will be legally responsible for its content.

You can follow the progress of the inquiry at https://committees.parliament.uk/work/6891/northern-ireland-protocol-bill/

This call for written evidence has now closed.

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