What is Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol and how should it work? This paper looks at the reasons why Article 16 might be triggered, what the other party can do to respond if it is, the role of the arbitration panel to settle disputes, whether the TCA can be used to cross-retaliate and can it be terminated, how the EU's infringement process could be used, and in what other areas the EU could withhold cooperation.
Where are we now with the Brexit negotiations?
The European Council adopted guidelines for phase two of the Brexit negotiations in December 2017 and new negotiating directives in January 2018. Phase two – on a transition/implementation period which will start the day after the UK leave the EU and end in December 2020 – started in February 2018. During the transition period the UK will not be a Member State but will continue to apply EU law.
New guidelines were adopted in March 2018 on the framework for the UK’s future relations with the EU. These are intended to be adopted as a ‘political declaration’ attached to the Withdrawal Agreement. Detailed provisions on the future EU-UK relationship will be set out in a separate agreement (or agreements) which will take effect after the UK has left the EU.
Talks between the EU and UK negotiators resumed on 18 April 2018. A solution to the problem of how to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland remains an outstanding issue for this phase of the negotiations.
The European Council will assess progress in ongoing issues and the framework for future relations at the June 2018 summit.
Where are we with the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill?
The Third Reading of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill in the House of Lords is scheduled for 16 May. The Bill, which was not amended in Committee in the House of Lords, had more than 150 amendments made to it during the six days of its report stage; more amendments may be made at Third Reading.
The Bill will then return to the House for Commons Consideration of Lords Amendments (CCLA).
Further reading: relevant Library Briefing Papers
Brexit: a reading list of post-EU Referendum publications by Parliament and the Devolved Assemblies, Commons Briefing Paper CBP-7912, 15 May 2018
European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Lords Report Stage, Lords Library Note LLN-2018-0053, 14 May 2018
Brexit: the exit bill, Commons Briefing Paper CBP-8039, 02 May 2018
Brexit: can Parliament control the outcome of the negotiations?, Insight (formerly ‘Second Reading’ blog), 01 May 2018
A UK-EU customs union?, Commons Briefing Paper CBP-8290, 25 April 2018
Brexit: new guidelines on the framework for future EU-UK relations, Commons Briefing Paper CBP-8289, 19 April 2018
European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Lords Committee Stage, Lords Library Note LLN-2018-0038, 12 April 2018
Brexit: Gibraltar update, Commons Briefing Paper CBP-8278, 05 April 2018
Legislative Consent and the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (2017-19): the Joint Ministerial Committee, proposed amendments, and the “Continuity Bills”, Commons Briefing Paper CBP-8275, 29 March 2018
Brexit: the draft withdrawal agreement, Commons Briefing Paper CBP-8269, 26 March 2018
Brexit timeline: events leading to the UK’s exit from the European Union, Commons Briefing Paper CBP-7960, 12 March 2018
Parliament and the withdrawal agreement: the “meaningful vote”, Insight (formerly ‘Second Reading’ blog), 09 February 2018
The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19: Summary of Commons Committee Stage, Commons Briefing Paper CBP-8192, 09 January 2018
In 2021 14.0% of the UK population was from a minority ethnic background. How is this reflected in politics and public life?
The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 creates a five year period between general elections. Early elections may only be held in specified circumstances. The Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill 2021-22, currently going through Parliament, would repeal the 2011 Act.