Lord Frost questioned on the operation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and unilateral measures announced by the Government
11 March 2021
The European Union Committee has today written two letters to Lord Frost, Cabinet Office Minister with responsibility for the UK’s institutional and strategic relationship with the EU, on the operation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, and the set of unilateral measures announced by the Government on 3 March.
- 11 March 2021 – Letter from Lord Kinnoull to Lord Frost CMG, Minister of State, Cabinet Office ref the operation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland
- 11 March 2021 – Letter from Lord Kinnoull to Lord Frost CMG, Minister of State, Cabinet Office ref 3 March unilateral measures on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland
- Report: The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland (PDF)
- Report: The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland (HTML)
- European Union Committee
The House of Lords European Union Committee has taken an intensive interest in the implications of Brexit for Northern Ireland since the Brexit referendum in June 2016. The Committee has undertaken a series of visits to Belfast, Dublin and the border region and published reports including Brexit: UK-Irish relations in 2016 and The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in 2020.
The Committee has engaged in detailed scrutiny of the operation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland since it came into force on 1 January 2021, including engagement with the Northern Ireland business community. The Committee’s letters sets out their findings in relation to problems encountered with the operation of the Protocol, rising political tensions, and the impact of the European Commission’s abortive attempt to invoke the safeguarding provisions in Article 16 of the Protocol, and the Government’s unilateral measures announced on 3 March.
The Committee’s letters seek clarity on:
- The Government’s justification for its decision to unilaterally announce measures to mitigate the impact of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland rather than seeking to reach mutual agreement with the European Commission in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee
- The extent to which issues with the supply of goods to supermarkets to Northern Ireland have been alleviated.
- What progress the Government has made in discussions with the EU in identifying permanent solutions to practical problems under the Protocol identified by Northern Ireland business and consumers.
- What practical steps the Government and the EU are taking to alleviate political and community tensions in Northern Ireland over the Protocol