EU Committee criticises lack of engagement by Northern Ireland Office

9 Jul 2020 03:04 PM

The Lords EU Committee has written to Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, expressing disappointment at the lack of engagement from his department in support of the Committee's scrutiny of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

Background

The Committee first requested an evidence session with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on 21 February 2020. The Department responded some weeks later that, as overall responsibility for the Protocol lay with the Cabinet Office, the Committee should hear evidence from the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP.

The Committee took evidence from Mr Gove in May, and he told the Committee that responsibility for engagement with the business community in Northern Ireland lay with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

The Committee has since made repeated requests to the Secretary of State to give evidence to the Committee, but these requests have been refused, at least until after the August recess.

The letter

In its latest letter, the Committee repeats its request to hear oral evidence from the Northern Ireland Office before the recess, specifically to discuss the Department's engagement with businesses in Northern Ireland.

Further information