Brexit LIVE: Gove sent urgent letter from meddling House of Lords – demand response

Brexit: Fishing chief slams Michael Gove over deal ‘lies’

The letter, signed by Lord Kinnoull, chairman of the European Union Committee, was in response to one by Mr Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster with regard to the Northern Ireland Protocol which aims to facilitate trade to and from Great Britain. Asking for “clarification on some points”, Lord Kinnoull wrote: “Your letter states that this commitment is ‘until such time that new permanent arrangements for future scrutiny are agreed’.

“Given that the House of Lords has already decided to appoint a dedicated Protocol Sub-Committee, I would invite you to agree that the Government should, regardless of the outcome of wider discussions on a new system of EU scrutiny, at the very least continue to deposit and provide Explanatory Memoranda on any proposals for EU legislation that fall within the scope of the Protocol.”

He also asked for assurances that such documents would be deposited and explanatory memoranda produced “on the same timetable as under existing arrangements”.

Finally, he added: “The work of Westminster and Stormont committees should be complementary, reflecting the overlap between the UK Government’s obligations as a Party to the Withdrawal Agreement, and those of the Northern Ireland institutions in respect of devolved matters.

“In considering future scrutiny arrangements, I urge you also to reflect on this complementarity, and to facilitate scrutiny of Protocol-related legislation by Committees both in Westminster and in the Northern Ireland Assembly.”

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The work of the House of Lords with regard to Brexit has been at times controversial, especially in 2020, when peers amended Theresa May’s Withdrawal Bill on numerous occasions.

In September of last year, Boris Johnson’s spokesman warned the Lords not to amend its Internal Market Bill relating to Northern Ireland.

He warned: “We would expect the Lords to abide by the Salisbury Convention.

“Guaranteeing the full economic benefit of leaving the EU to all parts of the United Kingdom and ensuring Northern Ireland’s businesses and producers enjoy unfettered access to the rest of the UK were clear Conservative manifesto commitments which this legislation delivers.”

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Brexit: Boris Johnson’s deal clears House of Lords

7.51am update: Poland could be next! Minister savages EU ‘double standards’ in stern warning to Brussels

Poland is in the “crosshairs” of the European Union – and may follow the UK’s example by quitting the bloc altogether in a so-called Polexit if the bloc keeps on pushing, a Polish Minister has warned.

Sebastian Kaleta, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Justice, said Boris Johnson’s tough stance should serve as an example to every leader in the EU27.

Together with Hungary, Poland’s relationship with the EU has been tense ever since Brussels began Article 7 proceedings aimed at preventing the two countries from introducing controversial legal reforms.

Most recently, both Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban threatened to veto the EU’s £1.6trillion budget in protest at attempts to link payouts from the EU’s coronavirus rescue funds to adherence to the bloc’s principles with respect to judicial independence.

7.48am update: Eurozone warning – EU rules would be ‘disaster’ for the UK, warns economist

Boris Johnson must stand his ground in the face of ongoing efforts to tether the UK to EU rules when it comes to financial services which would be a “disaster” for the nation, an economist has said.

And Professor David Blake has dismissed the idea of a power shift from the City to the continent as a result of Brexit, stressing that London would continue to be one of the world’s foremost financial centres irrespective of quitting the block.

However, he also warned the trade agreement unveiled on Christmas Eve had “significantly weakened” the UK’s bargaining position.

Prof Blake, Professor of Economics at City, University of London, told Express.co.uk: “The idea that liquidity has already shifted to the EU is ridiculous.”

7.41am update: Lords seek assurances from Gove

Michael Gove has been put on the spot by a House of Lords committee in which peers demand he offers them answers about how the Government’s post-Brexit deal will impact Northern Ireland – raising concerns about possible foot-dragging by the Upper House.

The letter, signed by Lord Kinnoull, chairman of the European Union Committee, was in response to one by Mr Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster with regard to the Northern Ireland Protocol which aims to facilitate trade to and from Great Britain.

Asking for “clarification on some points”, Lord Kinnoull wrote: “Your letter states that this commitment is ‘until such time that new permanent arrangements for future scrutiny are agreed’.

“Given that the House of Lords has already decided to appoint a dedicated Protocol Sub-Committee, I would invite you to agree that the Government should, regardless of the outcome of wider discussions on a new system of EU scrutiny, at the very least continue to deposit and provide Explanatory Memoranda on any proposals for EU legislation that fall within the scope of the Protocol.”

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