Brexit governance questions & answers

What is the governance process for Brexit within DAERA?

Brexit Programme Board

The Brexit Programme Board meets monthly and is chaired by the Permanent Secretary as SRO (Senior Responsible Owner).  Membership comprises all the Grade 3s, the Brexit Grade 5s and the DAERA Press Officer.  The Board is responsible for the governance of the overall Brexit Programme – primary and secondary legislation; negotiations; programme planning and progress monitoring; and risk assessment.  The Board is facilitated by the Brexit Programme Office in Brexit Division.  Issues escalated by the Board are escalated to the Shadow Strategy Group (SSG) or the Departmental Board as appropriate.

Shadow Strategy Group (SSG)

The newly established SSG meets three times per week and is chaired by Derek Williamson. It provides a stream-lined decision making forum for the delivery of critical elements of the Brexit Programme. Members are the Permanent Secretary, all Grade 3s, the Brexit Director and Contingency Grade 5s.  The group is facilitated by Brexit Contingency Planning Branch.

Yellow Team

This team meets on an ad hoc basis (normally for 1 hour each Monday pm) as a policy discussion forum.  The team comprises all Grade 3s and the Brexit Director.  It is facilitated by the Brexit Director.

What is the governance process for Brexit in the wider NICS?

EU Future Relations Board

This Board meets monthly and focuses on preparedness for EU exit, negotiations, future relationship with the EU and governance of the overall Brexit Programme at a NIC level.  The Board is chaired by the Head of the Civil Service and is attended by Permanent Secretaries.  The Board is facilitated by The Executive Office (TEO).

EU Exit Preparedness Board

This Board meets weekly and focuses on No Deal preparedness. The Board is jointly chaired by Sir Jonathan Stephens, NIO and the Head of the Civil Service and is attended by Permanent Secretaries with Grade 3/5s as required.

What is the governance process for Brexit in a UK agricultural context?

Joint Ministerial Committee Plenary (JMC)

The JMC comprises the UK Government, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive and is at the centre of formal relations between the administrations. Its purpose is to provide a central coordination of the overall relationship between the administrations.

Joint Ministerial Committee (Europe)

Chaired by the Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the EU, which meets quarterly, ahead of the European Council, to discuss matters bearing on devolved responsibilities that are under discussion within the EU.

Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations)

Chaired by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (David Lidington MP), meets at regular intervals to facilitate collaboration between the UK Government and the devolved administrations on the UK’s exit from the European Union.

More information about the Joint Ministerial Committees can be found at the following link:

IMG-EFRA – Inter-Governmental Arrangements covering Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (formerly Defra/DA Minister Group)

This IMG-EFRA meets 10 months of the year. Members are Ministers from Defra, the Devolved Administrations in Scotland and Wales, and the DAERA Permanent Secretary in the absence of a NI Executive. The meeting monitors progress and discusses and agrees actions on primary and secondary legislation, contingency planning, the future economic partnership and any other issues that cut across all the nations of the United Kingdom.

Senior Officials Programme Board (SOPB)

This Board meets in advance of the IMG-EFRA meeting to discuss and escalate issues requiring Ministerial decision.  The SOPB comprises senior officials from Defra and the Devolved Administrations.

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