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The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland continues to dominate the post-Brexit debate, in the wake of the European Commission’s error over the invocation of Article 16 of the Protocol. Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič appeared before an Oireachtas Committee on 16 February, for a lively debate at which he answered questions on the mistakes that led to the inclusion of Article 16, and reaffirmed the Commission’s commitment to protecting the Good Friday Agreement. He also met with Northern Irish Business Leaders, alongside Michael Gove, to reassure them on the implementation of the Protocol. Meanwhile, the DUP has ramped up its campaign to have the Protocol replaced, with a public petition which initiated a debate in the House of Commons on 22 February. The DUP also held talks with representatives of the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC), an organisation which represents loyalist paramilitary groups, including the UDA and UVF. The party said the meeting in Belfast discussed opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Brexit Brief is written by Tony Brown, IIEA Senior Fellow, on behalf of the IIEA’s UK Expert Group.

This Brexit brief is available here.

Brexit Brief, published by the IIEA’s UK Project Group, is published on a fortnightly basis and covers developments in the on-going debate over the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.