Northern Ireland Protocol Bill inquiry call for evidence launched
13 October 2022
The House of Lords Sub-Committee on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland today publishes its call for evidence, inviting interested individuals and organisations to submit their views on the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, currently before the House.
The deadline for written submission is midday on Thursday 3 November 2022.
- Call for evidence
- Send a written submission
- Inquiry: Northern Ireland Protocol Bill
- European Affairs Sub-Committee on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland
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 interparliamentary dialogue, notably with the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The Sub-Committee published an introductory report into the operation of the Protocol in July 202, and a follow-up report in July 2022, examining the overall impact of the Protocol, and the UK and EU proposals for reform. In August 2022, the Committee launched a new inquiry into the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill currently before the House of Lords, and the Committee has already taken oral evidence from business representatives, and legal and academic experts. Following Second Reading of the Bill on 11 October, the Committee now invites written evidence from interested individuals and organisations, to inform the House’s detailed scrutiny of the Bill.
The Sub-Committee’s call for evidence asks the following questions:
(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?
(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?