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Short inquiry launch: Agrifood and the Northern Ireland Protocol

1 June 2020

The House of Lords EU Environment Sub-Committee launches a new short inquiry on what the Northern Ireland Protocol will mean for the agrifood industry in Northern Ireland and the trade of agrifood products between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.


The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland applies some EU rules to Northern Ireland after the transition period, including those covering customs and other measures affecting the movement of goods. Its aims are to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, maintain the integrity of the EU's single market and protect the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement.

Stakeholders have raised concerns about what the Protocol could mean for the agrifood sector in Northern Ireland, particularly:

  • The level of additional checks and other controls on agrifood ingredients and products moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland
  • Possible barriers for Northern Ireland agrifood products going into Great Britain
  • What the UK-EU future relationship agreement will mean for the impact of the Protocol
  • The involvement of Northern Ireland industry in implementation decisions
  • The impact of COVID-19 on preparations for the end of the transition period.

The Committee will be holding two virtual evidence sessions with relevant industry stakeholders (including farmers, processors and transport companies) to explore those issues in early June.

The Committee will put any concerns arising from this inquiry to Defra Ministers before the summer recess.

Further information