- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
This week the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill returned to Parliament for the third reading. The Bill seeks to undo parts of the Protocol, which was agreed in October 2019 and governs trade agreements between the UK and EU in Northern Ireland.
19 July – Day 2
Amendment 44 would impose obligations on a Minister to consult with Northern Ireland business organisations on the option to choose between dual routes. It would also require the Government to reach agreement with the EU and approval from the Northern Ireland Assembly on the option to choose between dual routes. I voted to support the Amendment, which did not pass, Ayes: 201 and Noes: 293.
Amendment 28 requires a Minister to carry out an economic impact assessment and consultation before making any regulations for a dual regulatory regime. I voted to support the Amendment, Ayes: 205 and Noes: 293.
New Clause 15 requires a Minister to report to Parliament any discussions between the UK-EU Joint Committee when they involve the regulation of goods in connection with the protocol. I voted to support the New Clause, which was not passed, Ayes: 205 and Noes: 292.
20 July – Day 3
Amendment 12 removes the Minister’s power to “engage in conduct” relevant to the Northern Ireland protocol if they consider it “appropriate”. The Bill provides no further details on what “conduct” could involve and the Government have provided no justification on why this power is needed. I voted to support the Amendment, which did not pass, Ayes: 197 and Noes: 277.
Amendment 49 ensures that Ministers of the Crown must have due regard for the protection of the Belfast Agreement. The Belfast/Good Friday agreement must be at the heart of discussions, and an agreement must be reached which delivers for the people and businesses of Northern Ireland. I voted to support the amendment, which did not pass, Ayes: 196 and Noes: 278.
Amendment 3 would make all operational aspects of the Bill dependent upon the approval of the Northern Ireland Assembly. I voted to support the Amendment, which did not pass, Ayes: 194 and Noes: 275.
New Clause 12 means that if the Government’s actions are found to be unlawful, they must immediately set out to Parliament the steps that they will take to rectify the breach. I voted to support the New Clause, which was not passed, Ayes: 192 and Noes: 273.
The Bill will now go to the House of Lords in the Autumn.