Colin Murray and Sylvia de Mars attended a meeting of the European Union Select Committee in the House of Lords on 11th February 2020, to give evidence on the revised Ireland / Northern Ireland Protocol. Completing the panel was David Henig, called to share his expertise on trade.
Colin and Sylvia addressed a range of issues pertinent to the work of the Committee, drawing on their expert knowledge of EU law, UK constitutional law and the particularities of the situation in Northern Ireland.
This informative session was followed keenly by experts across the UK, not least in Northern Ireland (see this thread from BBC NI’s Economics and Business Editor, John Campbell), as the complexities that will need to be addressed by the end of 2020 were made unequivocally clear.
In January 2017, the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, tendered his resignation from the Northern Ireland Executive, citing issues around equality, trust and abuse of power on the part of the Democratic Unionist Party.
Following 3 years of institutional hiatus, during which civil servants assuming greater responsibilities ultimately prevented a return to direct rule, talks between the 5 main political parties, with a focus on negotiations between Sinn Féin and the DUP, recommenced following the Westminster General Election in December 2019. With the support of the Irish and UK Governments throughout the process, and a commitment to this being maintained thereafter, the text of an agreed document named ‘New Decade, New Approach’ was released to the general public on 9th January 2020.
This briefing presents an overview of the agreement reached and examines key aspects of its content, focusing on the elements addressing governance and identity.
What has changed since the 2019 General Election, and what does Brexit mean for the new deal that has been reached in Northern Ireland? PI team member, Clare Rice, considers these questions in a new article published on the DCU Brexit Institute blog – available to read here: http://dcubrexitinstitute.eu/2020/01/northern-irelands-new-approach-in-a-decade-of-uncertainty/