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Northern Ireland Protocol: UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement

Question for Cabinet Office

UIN HL4019, tabled on 15 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to apply the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland; and what assessment they have made of the implications of this application for the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Answered on

29 November 2021

The Government has invested substantial funding to implement the Northern Ireland Protocol in line with our current obligations and to support businesses adjusting to this change, including through the Trader Support Service and the Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS). We have already spent over £150m on these services. The forecast spend for the Trader Support Service is for £360m over the full two years to the end of 2022 and the forecast for MAS is that total spend could run to up to £150m.

The Northern Ireland Protocol is not part of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). Nevertheless, there have been suggestions that the EU would take retaliatory actions under the TCA should the UK invoke the Article 16 safeguards. This would aggravate the problems in Northern Ireland rather than reduce them. Article 16 is a legitimate safeguard within the Protocol and we would urge the European Commission to consider the impact of such disproportionate actions.

Answered by

Cabinet Office