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Call for Evidence

Written submissions


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, including scrutinising EU legislation applying to Northern Ireland under the Protocol, the Protocol’s overall socio-economic and political impact on Northern Ireland, and to engage in inter-parliamentary dialogue, notably with the Northern Ireland Assembly. 

The Sub-Committee is holding an introductory inquiry into: 

  • the current situation in Northern Ireland as it relates to the Protocol, including the views and concerns of communities and stakeholders; 
  • the current state of play regarding the Protocol’s operation;  
  • the continuing dialogue between the UK and the EU regarding the Protocol in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee and the governance bodies reporting to it; and 
  • efforts to identify solutions to the problems thus far identified.  

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 is 9am on Monday 14 June 2021. 

Diversity comes in many forms, and hearing from a range of different perspectives means that Committees are better informed and can more effectively scrutinise public policy and legislation. Committees can undertake their role most effectively when they hear from a wide range of individuals, sectors or groups in society affected by a particular policy or piece of legislation. We encourage anyone with experience or expertise of the issues under investigation to share their views with the committee, with the full knowledge that their views have value and are welcome. 

Information on how to submit evidence is set out below. If you have any questions or require adjustments to enable you to respond, please email or phone 020 7219 2466. 


  1. What is your assessment of the overall socio-economic and political impact upon Northern Ireland of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland since it came into force on 1 January? 
  2. What would you identify as the main practical issues that have so far arisen in relation to the Protocol’s operation, including both for GB and Northern Ireland-based businesses? How significant have these problems been, and what impact have they had on the ground? 
  3. What impact has the Protocol, and UK withdrawal more broadly, had on trade flows between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Ireland, and the rest of the EU? 
  4. Has the Protocol had any positive impact for Northern Ireland? 
  5. Is there a viable alternative to the Protocol?  
  6. How would you characterise the attitudes of the communities in Northern Ireland in relation to the Protocol? How significant, compared to other issues and concerns, has the Protocol been as a contributory factor to the recent community disturbances in Northern Ireland? 
  7. What action would you wish to see the Northern Ireland Executive take in relation to the Protocol, including in its engagement with the UK Government, the EU and the Irish Government? 
  8. What is your assessment of the UK Government’s approach to the Protocol, and its engagement with Northern Ireland stakeholders, since it came into force?  
  9. What is your assessment of the EU’s approach to the Protocol, and its engagement with Northern Ireland stakeholders, since it came into force?
  10. What practical steps can the UK and EU take through the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee and Ireland/Northern Ireland Specialised Committee to mitigate the Protocol’s negative impact on the people and businesses of Northern Ireland? 
  11. What practical difference would a UK-EU veterinary/SPS agreement have on the operation of the Protocol?  
  12. How can concerns about the perceived democratic deficit at the heart of the Protocol, in view of the continued dynamic application of significant areas of EU law to Northern Ireland in the absence of UK participation in the EU institutions, be addressed? 
  13. What work would you like to see this Committee undertake in scrutinising the operation and impact of the Protocol? 


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  

This call for written evidence has now closed.

Go back to Introductory inquiry into the operation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Inquiry