Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP makes her first appearance before the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee since being appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Wednesday 31 January 2018, Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster
- Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Purpose of the session
The session comes the week after talks on power sharing resumed. This is also the first opportunity for the Committee to scrutinise commitments made in the Joint Report on the progress of Brexit negotiations, published early December. The Committee will expect an update on these vital issues, as well as the wider work of the department.
Governance of Northern Ireland
Appearing before the Committee last week, the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, described the difficulties caused by the lack of ministerial decision preventing vital services from planning ahead. He also warned that it would be difficult if some budget certainty was not provided by 8 February. The Committee will ask the Secretary of State what steps she has taken to support talks to restore devolved Government and what measures she is prepared to take to ensure good governance in Northern Ireland.
In December 2017, the European Council resolved “sufficient progress” had been made in the Brexit talks to allow negotiations to move into phase two. The publication of the Joint Report by the EU and UK negotiators was central to this decision. The Joint Report contains commitments on future of North/South cooperation, protecting the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and avoiding a hard border in Northern Ireland. Following from their meeting with Michel Barnier, the Committee will use this session to examine the Government’s commitments on the future of the land border.
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