Future relationship talks between the EU and the UK, have been ongoing in Brussels and London to try to close the gaps between the two sides, including on the key outstanding issues of the level playing field, governance and on fisheries. Regardless of the outcome of the talks, the full, effective and timely implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol, remains vital. The Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland is explicitly designed to operate regardless of whether an EU-UK Future Relationship Agreement is in place. The only appropriate channel for considering issues around the implementation of the Protocol for Ireland and Northern Ireland is through the structures of the Withdrawal Agreement – the Joint Committee and Specialised Committees were established for that very purpose. To this end, the Joint Committee met on 19 October, with another meeting scheduled for mid-November, and the Specialised Committee on the Implementation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland is meeting today. Ireland participates in both Committees as a member of the EU delegation.