11 Feb 2021, 11.53

The Joint Committee on European Union Affairs will continue its examination of Europe’s recent use of Article 16 when it meets with European Commission Vice President, Maros Sefcovic in Leinster House next week.

Vice President Sefcovic will join the meeting in the Dáil Chamber, via video link, on Tuesday 16 February at 10am, to discuss the Commission’s recent decision to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Speaking on behalf of EU Affairs Committee members, Chairman Joe McHugh TD said: “While acknowledging Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s expression of deep regret at the Commission’s decision to trigger Article 16 and her assurance to the European Parliament that the Commission will do the utmost to protect the peace of Northern Ireland, questions still remain. Members want to know how a decision of such magnitude was made on a Friday evening, without warning, and who made that decision.

“Our Committee had the opportunity earlier this week to ask EU Affairs Minister Thomas Byrne about the incident from a government perspective.  The Committee Members welcome this upcoming engagement with Vice-President Sefcovic to examine the Commission’s actions in full and ensure that it is not repeated. If the Commission wants to ensure public confidence; it is crucial answers are provided. There needs to be accountability and transparency.”

Watch the meeting live.

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Committee membership

Deputies

Sinn Féin

Fianna Fáil

Independent

Fianna Fáil

Labour Party

Joe McHugh - Chair

Fine Gael

Senators

Fianna Fáil

Fine Gael

Independent

Green Party

Independent