Committee for Exiting the EU

Committee for Exiting the EU Hears From Bertie Ahern

The Committee for Exiting the European Union heard from former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern about British-Irish relations and the implications of the various Brexit outcomes for that relationship. Continue reading

Meeting Martin Selmayr

The Committee for Exiting the EU had a useful meeting with Martin Selmayr, Secretary General of the EU Commission, in Brussels. He reiterated that the negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement are closed. But he didn't rule out putting the Backstop assurance letters in the Withdrawal Agreement but asked Brexiteer MPs if they'd really back it if EU did! He also made clear that the Political Declaration is open and Norway Plus would help solve Irish Border

Northern Ireland And A No Deal Brexit

Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Exiting the European Union, appeared before the Committee for Exiting the European Union. I asked the Minister responsible for No Deal planning if he has conducted any research into the possible effects of No Deal on potential calls for reunification in Ireland, given possibility of an Irish Referendum under the Good Friday Agreement. Continue reading

Brexit Secretary Appears Before Committee For Exiting The European Union

Before five days of debate on the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the Framework for the Future Relationship, the Brexit Secretary and Prime Minister's Europe Adviser appeared in front of the Committee For Exiting The European Union. I asked him about turning the political declaration into a binding international treaty, the Norway plus option and the need for the Prime Minister to have a plan b. Continue reading

Committee For Exiting The EU Examines The Political Declaration

When the Committee examined the political declaration I asked about the transition period and negotiating a future relationship with the European Union, as well as the UK changing direction and going for an EEA-based Brexit. Continue reading

Brexit Impact On Security Policy Development

The Committee for Exiting the European Union examined the impact of Brexit on security policy, it heard from Camino Mortera-Martinez, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Reform and Sir Rob Wainwright, former Executive Director, Europol. I asked about and EEA-based Brexit, extradition and access to the EU justice and home affairs databases Continue reading

Backstop Plans For Irish Border

The Committee for Exiting the EU heard from representatives of industries operating on both sides of the Irish border, such as food and drink, retail and manufacturing. They looked at what the impact of the various backstop proposals would be on trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, as well as trade with the EU. I asked about the systems to track and examine goods crossing the Irish border, about organised crime exploiting loopholes in those systems and VAT. Continue reading

Committee for Exiting the European Union Hears From Government Department Permanent Secretaries

The No Deal option is a charade. It's unthinkable. To sum up evidence our Committee heard: cost to UK exporters: £4.5-6bn;  only 2% of British biz are prepared; no proper plans for reciprocal healthcare. It's time to end this chaos and pursue and EEA-based Brexit. Sir Ian Cheshire, Government Lead Non-Executive, Cabinet Office, Bernadette Kelly, Permanent Secretary, Department for Transport, Jon Thompson, Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive, HMRC and Sir Chris Wormald, Permanent Secretary, Department of Health and Social Care, all appeared before the Committee for Exiting the European Union to answer questions about the Government's capability to deliver Brexit, coordination work across Whitehall, and the 76 technical notices published since the end of August. Continue reading

Certainty For Business And Friction-Less Trade

Sir Simon Fraser, Deputy Chairman and Adviser to Europe Programme at Chatham House and former Permanent Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Julian Jessop, Chief Economist at Institute for Economic Affairs, and Jill Rutter, Programme Director at Institute for Government appeared in front of the Committee for Exiting the European Union. They were giving evidence on cross-Government preparations for Brexit and for no deal, and post-Brexit preparations. I asked them about the Chequers proposal and whether it provides certainty for business, and about friction-less trade. Continue reading

Business Contingency Planning For A No Deal Brexit

Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association, Martin McTague, Policy and Advocacy Chair of Federation of Small Businesses, Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability at British Retail Consortium, and Mike Thompson, Chief Executive of Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry appeared before the Committee for Exiting the European Union. They gave evidence on contingency planning being undertaken by businesses large and small in the event of a no deal Brexit. Continue reading