European Union Committee
The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

Ninth Report of Session 2019-21 - published 1 June 2020 - HL Paper 66



Chapter 1: Introduction



This report

Chapter 2: Objectives (Article 1)



Chapter 3: Rights of individuals (Article 2)

Chapter 4: Common Travel Area (Article 3)

Chapter 5: Customs territory of the United Kingdom (Article 4)

Northern Ireland as part of the customs territory of the UK vs the application of the Union Customs Code

Northern Ireland’s participation in future trade agreements

Chapter 6: Customs and movement of goods (Article 5)



Shortage of time

The implications for Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s economic model

The practical impact

The Government’s Command Paper


Mitigating factors

Defining processing and goods at risk of being moved into the EU

Streamlined customs processes

Other exemptions under the Protocol

Technological solutions

A UK-EU free trade agreement

Chapter 7: Protection of the UK internal market and technical regulations (Articles 6 and 7)

Article 6: Protection of the UK internal market and the movement of goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain

Checks and controls in relation to the prohibition or restriction of the export of goods

Exit summary declarations

Unfettered market access to the UK internal market

UK common frameworks

Article 7: Technical regulations, assessments, registrations, certificates, approvals and authorisations

Chapter 8: VAT and excise (Article 8)

Chapter 9: State aid (Article 10)


The implications for UK State aid policy

Exemptions and caveats

Agricultural support

Regional aid


Chapter 10: The Single Electricity Market and other areas of North-South cooperation (Articles 9 and 11)

The Single Electricity Market

Other areas of North-South cooperation



Bilateral agreements between the UK and Ireland

Chapter 11: Implementation, application, supervision and enforcement, and other provisions (Articles 12, 13, 16, 17 and 19)

EU law applicable to Northern Ireland

Amendments or replacements of EU law listed in the Annexes to the Protocol

New EU legislation within the scope of the Protocol but which does not amend or replace EU acts listed in the Annexes

Implementing and applying EU law in Northern Ireland

The responsibilities of the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive

Primary legislation

EU supervision of the implementation and application of the Protocol

The request to open an EU office in Northern Ireland

The jurisdiction of the CJEU and the EU’s executive agencies

Article 13: Common provisions and safeguards

Article 16: Safeguards

Article 17: Protection of financial interests

Article 19: Annexes

Chapter 12: The Joint Committee, Specialised Committee and Joint Consultative Working Group (Articles 14 and 15)

The Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee

The Joint Committee’s role in relation to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

The Ireland/Northern Ireland Specialised Committee

The Joint Consultative Working Group

Chapter 13: Democratic consent (Article 18)


Box 1: Declaration by the Government concerning the operation of the ‘Democratic consent in Northern Ireland’ provision of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland


Chapter 14: Parliamentary scrutiny and inter-parliamentary engagement


Scrutiny of planned and adopted EU legislation within the scope of the Protocol

Scrutiny of the Joint Committee, Ireland/Northern Ireland Specialised Committee and Joint Consultative Working Group

Inter-parliamentary engagement

Chapter 15: Conclusion

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 7219 3074).

Q in footnotes refers to a question in oral evidence.

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