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Scrutiny of EU law and policy: the Joint Committee and the Northern Ireland Protocol Evidence Session

30 September 2020

On Monday 5 October the Committee will question Paymaster General Penny Mordaunt MP (the Government’s deputy representative on the EU/UK Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee) and Brendan Threlfall (Director, Transition Task Force at Cabinet Office) on:

  • the work of the Joint Committee and the decisions it has to take before the end of the year to ensure the smooth functioning of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol; 
  • the implications of the Internal Market Bill for the operation of the Ireland/Northern Protocol, including State aid and movement of goods between Northern Ireland and GB; and
  • the need for continued parliamentary scrutiny of UK-EU relations beyond the end of the transition period on 31 December. 

Further information

The Joint Committee was established by the EU/UK Withdrawal Agreement and is responsible for its implementation and application. It is co-chaired by the EU and the UK. The UK’s co-chairs are the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove and the Paymaster General Penny Mordaunt. The Northern Ireland Protocol requires the Joint Committee to take certain decision before the end of the year to ensure its smooth operation, for example determining which goods entering Northern Ireland from GB are not “at risk of subsequently being moved into the EU” and are not therefore subject to EU customs duties. The Joint Committee also has an important role in resolving other issues of concern to the UK, such as the need for export summary declarations for goods moving from Northern Ireland to GB.

The evidence session builds on the scrutiny work undertaken by the Committee since the UK’s departure from the EU on 31 January 2020. The Committee’s weekly reports have paid particular attention to developments in EU law and policy that could affect the UK beyond the end of the post-Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, the activities of the UK-EU Joint Committee tasked with overseeing the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, and the implications of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol.