Brexit: Peers launch probe into farming under NI protocol

Concerns have been raised over the level of additional checks and possible barriers on agri-food moving from GB to NI under the protocol
Concerns have been raised over the level of additional checks and possible barriers on agri-food moving from GB to NI under the protocol

Fears about the impact of the post-Brexit Northern Ireland protocol on farmers, food producers and their supply chains will be explored by peers.

The short inquiry will look into what the protocol will mean for Northern Ireland’s agri-food sector and its trade with Great Britain.

The government last month published its proposals for implementing the Northern Ireland part of the EU withdrawal agreement, known as the protocol.

It is designed to avoid a hard border between Ireland and NI, and means that from 1 January 2021 EU rules affecting the movement of goods will apply.



The government has, however, insisted that Northern Ireland will still have 'unfettered' access to Britain's market.

Now the House of Lords EU Environment Sub-Committee has launched a short inquiry into the protocol and its impact.



Concerns have been raised by the farming industry over the level of additional checks and possible barriers on agri-food moving from GB to NI.

Farmers have highlighted worries over what the future UK-EU relationship will mean for the protocol, and the involvement of NI industry in implementation decisions.

Peers who sit on the committee also want to explore the impact of Covid-19 on preparations for the end of the Brexit transition period.

The committee will hear from farmers, food producers and transport companies this month, publishing to government the views expressed before parliament’s summer recess in July.

The EU Environment Sub-Committee is chaired by Lord Teverson and scrutinises EU energy, environment, agriculture, fisheries and climate change policies.