Documents considered by the Committee on 27 February 2019 Contents

9Brexit-preparedness—continuation of territorial cooperation programmes

Committee’s assessment

Politically important

Committee’s decision

Cleared from scrutiny; drawn to the attention of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee

Document details

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council in order to allow for the continuation of the territorial cooperation programmes PEACE IV (Ireland-United Kingdom) and United Kingdom-Ireland (Ireland-Northern Ireland-Scotland) in the context of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union

Legal base

Article 178 TFEU, ordinary legislative procedure; QMV

Department

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Document Number

(40297), 15847/18, COM(18) 892

Summary and Committee’s conclusions

9.1EU territorial cooperation programmes promote regional cooperation across borders within the EU. They include the PEACE programme, specifically designed to support cooperation across the Irish border, and the INTERREG (inter-regional cooperation) programmes.

9.2The Commission proposed that, in the event of a “no deal” Brexit scenario, two specific programmes supporting peace and reconciliation and North-South cooperation under the Good Friday Agreement should continue. These are: the latest iteration of the PEACE Programme (known as “PEACE IV”); and the United Kingdom-Ireland INTERREG VA programme (involving Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland).

9.3We first considered the proposal at our meeting of 30 January 2019, noting the Government’s support in view of the joint UK-EU commitment to these programmes until the end of 2020. We waived the proposal from scrutiny, asking the Government to clarify if it had sought any changes to the wording as regards financial liabilities and, if so, whether any changes were agreed.60

9.4The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Rt Hon. Lord Henley) explains61 that the proposal was discussed among Member State Ambassadors (in “COREPER II”) on 30 January. The UK signalled the UK’s broadly support for the proposal and voted in favour after reading a statement to achieve the following objectives:

9.5The Minister adds that all Member States supported the proposal without amendments and no further negotiation is expected between the European Council and European Parliament (EP). Adoption in the EP is expected in early March, with formal Council adoption to follow that. The Minister asks that the Committee consider either clearing the proposal from scrutiny or granting a scrutiny waiver. UK support, he says, will demonstrate the UK’s commitment to these programmes in any Brexit scenario as well as the UK’s support for peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland.

9.6We note that the text of the Regulation has been agreed as proposed by the Commission and that the UK is supportive, but formally expressed its concern about the Recital regarding the UK’s continued liabilities for its financial obligations assumed as a Member State. We consider it helpful that the UK has highlighted its concern in order that agreement to this Regulation does not prejudice future discussions on the UK’s financial liabilities.

9.7While the scrutiny waiver previously granted remains in place, we now clear this document from scrutiny and require no further information. We draw this chapter to the attention of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

Full details of the documents

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council in order to allow for the continuation of the territorial cooperation programmes PEACE IV (Ireland-United Kingdom) and United Kingdom-Ireland (Ireland-Northern Ireland-Scotland) in the context of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union: (40297), 15847/18, COM(18) 892.

Previous Committee Reports

Fifty-third Report HC 301–lii (2017–19), chapter 2 (30 January 2019).


60 Fifty-third Report HC 301–lii (2017–19), chapter 2 (30 January 2019).

61 Letter from the Rt Hon. Lord Henley PC to Sir William Cash MP dated 7 February 2019.




Published: 5 March 2019