EU Policy Competences after Brexit: Issues for Northern Ireland

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Published on 12th October 2016

Dr Lee McGowan and Dr Viviane Gravey (QUB) – EU Policy Competences after Brexit: Issues for Northern Ireland

Many aspects of public policy in Northern Ireland involved an EU dimension, being shaped in Brussels and implemented locally. The return of devolved government to Northern Ireland opened up new possibilities for engagement with the EU, provided access to specific funds and gave Northern Ireland a presence in Brussels. What does Brexit mean for Northern Ireland? Following Brexit (former) EU competences will become the responsibility of the devolved administrations but are they ready to develop, fund and administer these aspects of public policy. This presentation focuses on two policy areas, namely agriculture and the environment. Both have played a significant role in Northern Ireland in terms of funding (through, for example, the Single Farm Payment) and legislation (Habitats Directive; Waste Directives). As the UK government prepares its negotiation strategies, there are many questions to raise over the EU impact on both and the future shape of a Northern Irish agricultural policy and which areas of EU environmental legislation to keep or abandon.

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