14 Oct 22. UK-Irish Committee launch inquiry into EU-UK Defence and Security Cooperation Post-Brexit.
Politicians on an influential British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) committee have launched an inquiry into UK-EU Defence and Security Cooperation Post-Brexit, following a meeting in London on 13 October 2022.
BIPA’s European Affairs Committee’s new inquiry will examine the two sides’ response to Ukraine before going on to examine issues around cyber security and, finally, intelligence and policing.
To inform its work, the Committee is now inviting written evidence from interested individuals and organisations on any of the areas covered in the terms of reference below.
BIPA is represented by lawmakers from Westminster and the devolved UK legislatures, and the Irish Oireachtas. It meets for plenaries twice a year held alternately in the UK and in Ireland at which Committees report their findings and senior politicians make important speeches on the future of UK-Irish relations.
Chair of the Committee, Darren Millar MS, said: “The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is reshaping the defence and security architecture across our continent. It is only right that we review the post-Brexit arrangements, and we invite those with an interest in this area to submit evidence.”
Scope of the inquiry
Please email written evidence to the Committee Clerks, Simon Horswell and Claudia Zelli, at and , by Friday 2 December 2022.
Response to Ukraine
- To consider the approaches of the UK Government, Irish Government, devolved UK legislatures and EU in response to the crisis in Ukraine.
- To consider the cooperation between the UK, the EU and its individual member states and how effective this cooperation has been.
- To consider the impact of Brexit on the UK’s cooperation with European partners in the context of Ukraine.
- To consider whether there are any lessons to be learned thus far from UK-EU cooperation on Ukraine or whether there are future opportunities to do things differently.
- To consider the outlook for longer term UK/EU cooperation on defence and security.
- To consider to what extent the recent change in German defence policy, the prospect of Finnish and Swedish accession to NATO and the AUKUS agreement has had on the UK-EU defence and security relationship.
- To consider the biggest challenges facing the UK, Ireland and EU in cybersecurity, including whether they have identified the same priorities and whether are they broadly aligned in what they need to do to address these challenges.
- To consider how the UK, Ireland and EU can cooperate effectively to tackle these challenges now the UK is no longer part of EU bodies including its Agency for Cyber Security (ENISA).
- To consider implementation of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement in this area, including the current status and outcomes of the ‘regular dialogue’.
- To consider whether there are lessons to be learnt from how the UK and EU Member States pursue such cooperation in other settings, such as NATO.
- To consider the extent to which the UK and EU’s separate legislative agendas are compatible or divergent.
- To consider how the UK and EU can cooperate effectively to influence cyber-security standards for existing and emerging technologies.
- To consider any risks for effective cooperation between the private sector in the UK and Ireland/ the EU if there is regulatory divergence and the impact on private and academic sectors ability to cooperate on cyber.
- To consider the importance of UK researchers being able to participate fully in EU-funded research into new cybersecurity measures under the ‘Horizon Europe’ programme.
Intelligence and policing
- To consider the practical impact of the arrangements for law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).
- To consider the impact of Brexit on practical law enforcement cooperation on the island of Ireland and between Irish and relevant UK authorities.
- To consider the legal structures and/or mechanisms that now apply to the exchange of operational information between law enforcement authorities in Ireland and in the UK.
- To consider whether the UK and Ireland have concluded any bilateral cooperation agreements since the UK left the EU to facilitate cross-border cooperation.
- To consider the effectiveness of TCA provisions on surrender/ extradition and whether the transition from the (pre-Brexit) European Arrest Warrant (EAW) procedures to the new TCA procedures has been straightforward.
- To consider whether post-Brexit developments in EU or UK law could jeopardise cooperation under Part Three of the TCA (e.g.: UK Bill of Rights, Data Protection and Digital Information Bill as well as proposed changes to the EU’s Prüm rules governing the transfer of DNA and fingerprint data during criminal investigations).
- To consider whether there are specific areas of law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation in which differing EU and UK approaches to the use of technology, or the development of standards, could jeopardise cooperation under Part Three of the TCA.
- To consider whether the UK’s exit from the EU affected the Irish Government’s approach to its EU justice and home affairs opt-ins and whether divergence in substantive criminal laws and procedures in Ireland and the UK make cooperation more difficult over time.
All submissions should be sent as a Microsoft Word document and be no longer than 3,000 words long.
14 Oct 22. Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, faces questions from Defence Committee. On Tuesday 18 October, at 14.30, the Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon. Ben Wallace MP, will appear in front of the Defence Committee. This is the final session in the Committee’s inquiry into the US, UK and NATO. The session is an opportunity to put questions raised by the inquiry to the Secretary of State. Topics such as political engagement with the US Administration on military operations, the W93 nuclear missile and US protectionism and export controls, are likely to be explored. The Committee may also consider questions around the UK’s contributions to NATO soldiers and equipment, the accession of Finland and Sweden and the industrial capacity of Western supply chains.
14.30, 18 October:
- Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, Secretary of State for Defence
- Clare Cameron, Director, Euro-Atlantic, Ministry of Defence
- Joanne Haymer MBE, Deputy Director and Head of Euro-Atlantic Security Policy, Ministry of Defence
14 Oct 22. Defence Committee announces Sub-Committee on Cultural Defence Diplomacy,
Today the Defence Committee launches its new Sub-Committee on Cultural Defence Diplomacy. The Sub-Committee will focus on the UK’s soft power, ability to engage with allies and using the UK’s cultural institutions to deepen some friendships and foster others.
‘Defence Diplomacy’ refers to the pursuit of foreign policy objectives through interactions and exchanges with other nations. This also includes cultural exchanges, such as the performances by the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (REMT).
The Sub-Committee will be chaired by Gavin Robinson MP.
The deadline for written evidence is Friday 4 November 2022.
The Committee welcomes written evidence on the following points:
- What role do cultural events and institutions play in supporting the UK’s aims when it comes to defence diplomacy? What is its value to the UK’s position in the world?
- What is the best and most effective way to utilise the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (REMT)? What changes would need to be made to facilitate the better use of the REMT?
- How should naval assets be used for furthering defence diplomacy, for example their use for receptions and trade missions?
- Has the Government adequately supported and facilitated the pursuit of defence diplomacy through cultural events and institutions?
- What role should the Government have in supporting and coordinating cultural defence diplomacy?
- Which organisations or sectors should be responsible for supporting the UK’s defence diplomacy efforts?
- How should value from cultural defence diplomacy be measured? Is there currently an agreed or effective framework for measuring impact against objectives?
- What is the contribution to defence diplomacy of the Armed Forces’ ceremonial roles?
Form of written evidence:
Submissions should be no longer than 3,000 words. The main body of any submission should use numbered paragraphs. Each submission should contain:
- a short summary, perhaps in bullet point form;
- a brief introduction about the person or organisation submitting evidence, for example explaining their area of expertise or experience;
- any factual information from which the Committee might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other witnesses;
- any recommendations for action by the Government or others which the submitter would like the Committee to consider for inclusion in its report to the House.
Submissions should be in malleable format such as MS Word (not PDFs) with no use of colour or logos.
Deadline for submissions
The Committee is asking for initial written evidence to be submitted through the Committee’s web portal by Friday 4 November 2022.
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