Amendment 3

Part of European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill - Report (1st Day) – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 20th January 2020.

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Photo of Lord Duncan of Springbank Lord Duncan of Springbank Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 5:45 pm, 20th January 2020

The noble Baroness is right to draw this to our attention. It is not the Government’s plan in any way to seek to surprise any of the devolved Administrations on these matters. It will be necessary, as matters arise from the negotiation’s focus on the Northern Ireland protocol that have an impact on Wales or Scotland, to ensure full dialogue with the Welsh, the Scots and the wider Northern Ireland community to ensure that they are fully aware of why these matters are necessary.

The structure that we have traditionally used is the Joint Ministerial Committee. As I said a few moments ago, our purpose is to ensure that the technical discussions are dealt with primarily at the level of technicians, to enable us to find the correct way to ensure we are in full conformity with our international obligations in good time within calendar year 2020. On that part, the Government will fully commit early and engage often on these matters to ensure there is neither a surprise nor a disappointment in these matters. Again, I stress that these are elements that will be required to deliver the Northern Ireland protocol itself. It will not be in any way an endeavour to try to reach beyond, into the current statutes within the Wales Act or the Scotland Act. That is not their purpose, and indeed they cannot do that.