European Union Committee
Brexit: UK-Irish relations

6th Report of Session 2016-17 - published 12 December 2016 - HL Paper 76



Chapter 1: Introduction


This report

The work of the EU Committees

Chapter 2: The economic implications

Current UK-Irish trade relations

The economic implications for Ireland


SMEs and indigenous firms

Financial services, hi-tech and multinational firms

The future for UK-Irish trade


The economic implications for Northern Ireland

Access to labour

The agri-food sector

Foreign direct investment

Growth and economic development

Northern Ireland’s voice in negotiations

Economic opportunities following Brexit


Cross-border economic issues

Integrated labour markets




Higher education

Currency fluctuations



Chapter 3: The Irish land border and the Common Travel Area

The Irish land border

The history of the land border and the Common Travel Area

Box 1: The operation of the Common Travel Area

The evolution of the border

The implications of Brexit for the Irish land border

The free movement of goods and UK membership of the customs union

The movement of people and the Common Travel Area

Box 2: The Common Travel Area in EU law

The implications for the cross-border free movement of EU

Reciprocal rights for UK and Irish citizens

Box 3: The status of Irish citizens under UK law

Other solutions

Case studies of cross-border cooperation

Police and security cooperation

Healthcare provision

Chapter 4: The impact on the peace process and on North-South
and East-West relations

The impact of Brexit on the peace process

The role of the EU in underpinning the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement

Box 4: The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and EU membership and the ECHR

The transformative effect of common EU membership

Common EU membership and community identity

Is Brexit a threat to the peace process?

EU funding

Table 1: European co-funded programmes in Northern Ireland 2007–2013

Table 2: European co-funded programmes in Northern Ireland 2014–2020

The impact on North-South and East-West relations

Box 5: The main institutional elements of Strands Two and
Three of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement

North-South relations

East-West relations

The political context in Northern Ireland

The role and responsibility of the Northern Ireland Executive

The relationship between Belfast and the UK Government

Chapter 5: Conclusion

The unique implications of Brexit for Ireland

Special status for Northern Ireland?

A bilateral UK-Ireland arrangement?

The role and responsibility of the EU and the other 26 Member

The role and responsibility of the Irish Government

The role and responsibility of the UK Government


Summary of conclusions and recommendations

Appendix 1: List of Members and declarations of interest

Appendix 2: List of witnesses

Evidence is published online at and available for inspection at the Parliamentary Archives
(020 7129 3074).

Q in footnotes refers to a question in oral evidence.

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