Brexit: UK-Irish relations

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Series Details (2016-17)HL76
Publication Date 12/12/2016
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January 2018:

In January 2018 the House of Lords EU Select Committee launched a short follow-up inquiry to the December 2016 report on Brexit: UK-Irish relations.

The follow-up inquiry would review the impact of Brexit on UK-Irish relations, in light of subsequent developments and with particular emphasis on:

+ The implications for UK-Irish relations of the December Joint Report on progress made during the phase 1 negotiations
+ The key priorities and issues to be addressed in relation to Ireland and Northern Ireland in phase 2 of the negotiations
+ The status of the Irish land border, and options for maintaining frictionless cross-border trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland
+ The extent to which the views of both the unionist and nationalist communities in Northern Ireland are being taken into account during the Brexit negotiations
+ The impact of the continuing Brexit negotiations on North-South and East-West relations.Following the referendum of 23 June 2016, the EU Select Committee of the House of Lords issued a series of reports on some of the key implications of the decision. On the 12 December 2016 a report called Brexit: UK-Irish relations was published.

The report outlined the many economic, political, legal and institutional challenges of Brexit for Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and for UK-Irish relations as a whole.

The Committee concluded that any negative impact of Brexit on the UK economy was likely to be replicated, or even magnified, for the Irish economy. The Committee agreed that the unique nature of UK-Irish relations required a unique solution, and called on the UK and Irish Governments to negotiate a draft bilateral agreement, incorporating the views and interests of the Northern Ireland Executive, which would then need to be agreed by the EU as part of the final Brexit negotiations, with key aspects including:

+ Continuation of the current open land border between the UK and Ireland
+ Maintenance of the Common Travel Area, the right of free movement within it for UK and Irish citizens, and their right to reside and work in both countries.
+ Retention of the right to Irish (and therefore EU) citizenship for the people of Northern Ireland.
+ A customs and trade arrangement between the UK and Ireland if the UK leaves the customs union.
+ Reaffirmation by both Governments of their commitment to the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and continued support for cross-border cooperation.

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Related Links
UK: Parliament: House of Lords: News, 12.12.16: Brexit challenge needs new bilateral UK/Ireland agreement
ESO: Background information: David Davis visits Ireland to strengthen commercial ties ahead of EU exit negotiations
ESO: In Focus: Brexit - The United Kingdom and the European Union
ESO: Background information: Irish Government Brexit Contingency Plans Announced / Government statement on the outcome of the UK EU referendum
The Guardian, 12.12.16: [Editorial]: The Guardian view on Brexit and Ireland: special relationship, special solution
ESO: Background information: 28th British-Irish Council Summit in Cardiff, 25 November 2016
ESO: Background information: Northern Ireland and Brexit: Struggling and divided over ‘what next’
The Guardian, 12.12.16: Northern Ireland must not be 'collateral damage' of Brexit, report says
BBC News, 12.12.16: Brexit: NI Assembly 'should have power over freedom of movement'
Politico, 12.12.16: House of Lords: Britain should strike deal with Ireland
Blog: UK in a Changing Europe, 19.12.16: Brexit and UK-Irish relations: between low and high politics?
IIEA: Brexit Commentary
UK: Parliament: House of Lords: EU Select Committee: News, 07.09.17: Government responds to Brexit: UK-Irish relations report
UK: Parliament: House of Lords: EU Select Committee: News, 12.01.18: Brexit: UK-Irish relations - EU Committee launches follow-up inquiry

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