At the Seanad Special Select Committee on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU), Fianna Fáil Senator Lisa Chambers sought commitment from Commissioner Mairead McGuinness that the EU will not impose checks on goods coming from Ireland if the UK continue to delay the implementation of the Northern Ireland (NI) protocol.  

Senator Chambers and Chair of the committee commented, “Reports over the past week that there may be the potential, as a last resort, to impose checks on goods coming from the Republic of Ireland to mainland Europe should the UK fail to implement the NI protocol fully were very concerning.  This has been a fear for many businesses here in Ireland throughout the Brexit process and something we cannot countenance.” 

“At the Committee I sought to get clarity from Commissioner McGuinness as to what will happen if the UK unilaterally decide to continue to delay the implementation of the NI protocol and what the EU will do in their response.  There was widespread concern that Ireland would ultimately end up paying a further price for the U.K.’s continued failure to implement the withdrawal agreement in full. Any suggestion that the EU would impose checks on goods coming from Ireland to the rest of the EU must be strongly rebutted. Ireland has already paid a high price for Brexit and we want to move forward now without any further harm to our citizens and businesses.” 

“I would like to thank the Commissioner for her response and commitment that the EU has no interest in making the Brexit problem an Irish problem. The Commissioner was clear and unequivocal in her answer to my questions that it is not on the EU table to impose checks on Irish goods going to mainland EU regardless of what transpires with the U.K.”