On Tuesday 14 November Dr Ian Cooper, representing the DCU Brexit Institute, met with visiting members of the Scottish Parliament’s Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee.
The Committee was visiting Belfast and Dublin from 12-14 November as part of its work on the Review of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and also consideration of the Scottish Government’s international policy and its relations with the EU and Ireland. The Committee was meeting with politicians, officials, academics, businesses and others to discuss issues around the TCA (including the Windsor Framework / NI Protocol). The visiting members of the Committee were Clare Adamson (Convener – SNP), Neil Bibby (Scottish Labour), and Mark Ruskell (Scottish Greens).
The group held a wide-ranging discussion that was focused in particular on the upcoming review of the TCA in 2026 and how the European Commission may approach the review, as well as the approach of the UK government, and what role the EU member states, including Ireland, would take. They discussed what scope there might be for wide-ranging changes to the TCA when it is reviewed.
The group also discussed the special position of Northern Ireland – how alignment with some EU law within Northern Ireland (as required by the Windsor Framework) is monitored and enforced from an EU perspective, and whether there is a sense within Ireland that NI business has an advantage as a result of the NI Protocol/Windsor Framework. Finally the group discussed the UK-EU Parliamentary Partnership Assembly (in which the Scottish Parliament has observer status) and its role in overseeing the Partnership Council (the co-chair of which is now the new UK Foreign Secretary, David Cameron). Many expressed the hope that there may soon be an improvement in EU-UK relations.
Photo Credits: Ian Cooper