The European Tribune is a forum for thoughtful dialogue of European and international issues. You are invited to post comments and your own articles.
Please REGISTER to post.
The Joint Committee on North-South ["]arrangements["] needs to be formed and make their recommendations, which then need to be implemented. With the devolved government in Northern Ireland back in office for only a month after three years of statis, that was going to be difficult anyway.
Perhaps Fox expects IHREC Joint Committee's (NI and IE delegates) ex parte judgment on human rights compliance might dictate a EU-UK tariff resolution? This seems to me as unlikely as armed IHREC divisions taking up borderless patrols during or after expiry of the WA "transition period". Art.5 of the Protocol refers UK-EU Joint Committee and Specialised Committees (pl.) authority to review implementation of EU trade regs, removing arbitration from North-South controversy to its global scope--union:union--WA Art. 164-166. The committees' term effectively is one year, and will meet once, 1 July 2020, for consideration of WA modification and extension, if any. Such tribulations are more likely to confirm than inform terms and conditions of the final trade agreement--including permanent maintenance of the Joint Committee dispute settlement (Title III). Ireland's North-South "arrangements" ultimately will follow, not lead, executive decisions.
I've not found committees' member lists or schedules; that does not mean none exist or circulate through UK-EU gov channels. Until 1 July, one may speculate about committee composition drawn from the unions' respective pools of parliamentary and TBTF cadres as well as executive representatives. For the EU, appointments from Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom; for the UK, cabinet "shuffles" and subterfuges in the state department assure lingering confusion about any joint ventures.
Joint Committee of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, "Policy statement on the United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union," Mar 2018, 18 pp
The Common Travel Area (CTA) has been referred to as a mechanism for facilitating cross-border working after withdrawal. Research commissioned by the Joint Committee suggests, however, that in terms of service provision, this could infringe 'Most Favoured Nation' rules under the World Trade Organisation 'General Agreement on Trade in Services' since the CTA is not recognised by the WTO as a Preferential Trade Agreement whereas an EU-UK comprehensive trade deal would be.
Neither the Withdrawal Agreement nor the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill makes provision for parliamentary oversight of the Joint Committee. In our March 2019 report Beyond Brexit: how to win friends and influence people, we expressed concern both over "the lack of transparency in the work of the ... Joint Committee", and over the lack of any provision for the UK Parliament to oversee or influence its work. We urged that "a new mechanism should be adopted" to enable either House to require the Government either to raise concerns in the Joint Committee about specific proposals that could have a detrimental impact upon the UK, or to place an issue on the Joint Committee's agenda. To facilitate effective scrutiny, we also called for meeting schedules, agendas, decisions and recommendations of the Joint Committee to be made available to Parliament in timely fashion.
What will be very controversial is the "border down the Irish Sea" that will be required to preserve the integrity of the single market and uphold WTO rules and any provisions of an FTE should one be agreed. Given Boris' frequent pronouncements that no controls will be required and EU insistence they are unavoidable, the stage is set for ongoing EU/UK tensions.
But none of that is part of the remit of the North South committee or of any great interest to Irish nationalists provided it doesn't impact too much on East/West trade between Britain and Ireland. Unionists, on the other hand, are hugely worried that the "border down the Irish sea" will gradually consolidate into a a real customs, and ultimately a political border.
Sinn Fein's success in the Irish general election doesn't alter that picture unduly as all three main parties are on the same page regarding Brexit and its impact on Ireland. We may well be into a "Belgium" scenario of no effective government for a while, but that may have little impact on EU/UK negotiations regarding the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and agreement to a FTA.
Index of Frank's Diaries
How many other readers have?
by Oui - Nov 26 38 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Nov 23 17 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Nov 20 20 comments
by epochepoque - Nov 16 32 comments
by gmoke - Nov 15
by Frank Schnittger - Nov 13 35 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Nov 9 124 comments
by Oui - Nov 2638 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Nov 2317 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Nov 2020 comments
by epochepoque - Nov 1632 comments
by gmoke - Nov 15
by Frank Schnittger - Nov 1335 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Nov 9124 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Nov 5139 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Nov 3215 comments