COMMONS

Northern Ireland and the EU Referendum inquiry launched

18 January 2016

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee launches a wide-ranging inquiry into the issues affecting Northern Ireland in respect of the forthcoming referendum on UK membership of the EU. The aim of the inquiry will be to inform and encourage public debate in Northern Ireland ahead of the referendum.

Terms of reference

The Committee invites written evidence on its new inquiry with a view to holding public evidence sessions in February and March. Among other issues, the Committee seeks evidence on:

  • What Northern Ireland-specific issues should be considered as part of the debate on UK membership of the EU?
  • Would leaving the EU have implications for the peace process?
  • What are the potential implications for Northern Ireland’s land border with the Republic of Ireland?
  • What are the potential implications of, and opportunities following, Brexit for Northern Ireland’s economy, including for the agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors?
  • Does EU membership benefit Northern Ireland’s relationship with the ROI economically, politically and socially? 
  • What impact would the loss of EU funds have for Northern Ireland, and how could these be compensated by the UK Government from the monies that would otherwise have been paid to the EU?
  • What opportunities could exist for the UK Government to increase spending and to reduce taxes in Northern Ireland following Brexit?
  • To what extent have regulations and directives issued by the EU affected business in Northern Ireland? 
  • Does leaving the EU have implications for the energy market in Northern Ireland?
  • What would be the potential effects of leaving the EU on capital and migrant labour flows in and out of Northern Ireland?

Quote from the Chair

The Chair of the Committee, Laurence Robertson MP, said:

"It is 40 years since the UK held a referendum on membership of the then European Economic Community. The forthcoming vote therefore represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for people to express their opinion on this important issue.

Our aim is not to make a recommendation on whether the people of Northern Ireland should vote to leave the EU or remain a member. Rather, we will look to inform public debate on the specific issues affecting Northern Ireland that should be considered."

Submitting evidence

Written evidence should be submitted online via the inquiry page. As a guideline submissions should be no longer than 3000 words.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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