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How will the Northern Ireland protocol work?

This event examined how the Northern Ireland protocol might operate and what needs to be done to make it work.

Boris Johnson accepted a Northern Ireland protocol when he negotiated a new withdrawal agreement with the European Union last October. This protocol creates special customs and regulatory arrangements for Northern Ireland to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, and will come into force when the transition periods ends on 31 December – irrespective of the future trading relationship between the rest of the UK and the EU.

But many of the details of how the protocol will work in practice remain to be agreed – and there is little time left for new systems and processes to be put in place to meet the UK's legal commitments.

This event examined how the Northern Ireland protocol might operate, what needs to be done to make it work, and its political and constitutional implications.

Our panel included:

  • Stephen Farry MP, Alliance Party Deputy Leader and MP for North Down
  • Stephen Kelly, Chief Executive of Manufacturing NI
  • Dr Anna Jerzewska, independent customs and trade adviser
  • Denis Staunton, London Editor, The Irish Times

The event was chaired by Joe Owen, Programme Director at the Institute for Government. There was an opportunity for audience questions.


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