Committee questions lawyers on what’s next for Brexit deal

23 January 2019

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee opens its inquiry into the implications of the withdrawal agreement and the backstop for Northern Ireland with a session with internationally regarded lawyers.


Wednesday 23 January 2019, Committee Room 18, Palace of Westminster

At 9.30am

  • Isabelle Van Damme, Van Bael and Bellis
  • Martin Howe QC, Chairman of Lawyers for Britain
  • Sir Stephen Laws, First Parliamentary Counsel 2006-2012


The protocol on Northern Ireland, known as the backstop, contained in the negotiated EU withdrawal agreement has emerged as a sticking point. The House of Commons rejected the withdrawal agreement this week, and the Prime Minister must now look for a way to break the deadlock in Parliament.

Purpose of the session

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee will hear from three lawyers about legal options for securing a unilateral exit from the backstop, the implications of renegotiating the Agreement and how a no-deal Brexit could affect Northern Ireland.

The Committee will question the lawyers, who approach the withdrawal agreement from different perspectives, on potential futures for the backstop, how Northern Ireland’s voice can be heard in any renegotiations, and the implications for Northern Ireland of other options such as extending Article 50 or trading on WTO terms.

Further information

Image: PA

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