The ninth meeting of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Specialised Committee was held today via video conference and co-chaired by officials from the UK Government and the European Commission.
A representative from the Northern Ireland Executive also attended as part of the UK delegation in line with the commitment made in the New Decade, New Approach deal.
The UK updated upon the basis for operating the Protocol during the “standstill”, including the delivery of new IT systems, extensive support for UK businesses, and the completion of a new secure database for customs information sharing.
The Committee took note of recent meetings of the Joint Consultative Working Group, including an update from the Commission on sharing information regarding EU legislation that is applicable to Northern Ireland under the Protocol.
Finally, the UK noted that substantive discussions on the future of the Protocol were not for the INISC, but recalled the proposals put forward in its Command Paper, published on 21 July, to make significant changes to the Protocol. The UK noted the ongoing technical discussions with the Commission following publication of the Command Paper, and recalled its announcement on 6 September that it would continue to operate the Protocol on its current basis whilst discussions continue. The UK noted that it was now urgent to make progress on revised arrangements.