North’s ‘remain’ vote presents unique challenge in Brexit negotiations: British Lords

The border at Muff.
The border at Muff.

The British House of Lords EU Committee has warned the North’s vote to remain in the European Union presents a unique challenge in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

The committee has also expressed concern about how Brexit will affect the devolution settlement realised via the Good Friday Agreement.

This morning it announced a short inquiry into the impact of Brexit on devolution in Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Lord Boswell, Chairman of committee, said: “We’ve been told that Brexit means Brexit but what does that mean for the constituent parts of the UK?

“The UK’s overall vote to leave included voters in two devolved jurisdictions expressing a preference to remain.

“This presents challenges for the forthcoming Brexit negotiations. We want to get to the bottom of the effect of Brexit on the devolution settlement, and how the different views across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can all be fairly represented in the forthcoming negotiations.

“We will explore issues including which powers returning to the UK from Brussels should be devolved, and the resources that the devolved institutions will need to take on these responsibilities.

“We will begin this inquiry by taking evidence in Edinburgh next week and we would invite anyone with views on these issues to get in touch.”

The Committee will consider the political and economic implications of Brexit for the devolved jurisdictions, and how the UK Government should reflect their interests in its negotiations with the EU.

The inquiry will also look at which powers currently exercised at EU level should be transferred to the devolved institutions.

The Committee has already described Brexit as a ‘huge challenge’ for Ireland after being warned cross-border health initiatives in Derry and Donegal will come under threat due to their reliance on funding from the European Union and cross-border labour.

The Committee are inviting anyone with an interest in these issues to submit their views to euclords@parliament.uk, no later than March 3, 2017.