4 Feb 2021, 17.14
The Joint Committee on European Union Affairs will discuss Europe’s recent use of Article 16 with EU Affairs Minister Thomas Byrne at a meeting in Leinster House, next week.
The meeting - which will take place in Committee Room 4 on Tuesday, 9 February at 10am - will focus on Europe’s decision last Friday to trigger and later revoke Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The Committee has extended an invitation to the European Commission to appoint a representative to attend the meeting, via video link and a response is pending.
Speaking on behalf of EU Affairs Committee members, Chairman Joe McHugh TD said: “The role of our cross-party committee is to provide parliamentary scrutiny on decisions and important EU developments and initiatives affecting Ireland. What happened last Friday was wrong and a mistake.
“Next Tuesday’s engagement is an opportunity to ask questions about the sequence of events that ultimately led to the Commission triggering Article 16 before it made a U-turn on that decision. As members of the EU Affairs Committee we feel we have got a two-fold responsibility in this regard; firstly, to ask questions at a government level as to what happened and how it happened. Secondly, at a Commission level, we have to have accountability. We want to identify who made the decision and how it came about. We do need answers.
“The Committee wants accountability and answers in order to ensure, what happened does not happen again and we can have public trust and confidence in the protocols procedure in the future.”
Watch the meeting live.