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Summary

  1. Officials from the Ulster Farmers' Union and NIAPA gave their initial views on Brexit.
  2. Northern Ireland Environment Link briefed the committee on the possible effects of Brexit on the environment.
  3. Minister of Justice Claire Sugden briefed the Justice Committee on her priorities.

Live Reporting

By Robin Sheeran and Brooke Allen

All times stated are UK

See you in September

Chairperson Paul Frew adjourns the committee.

The Northern Ireland Assembly is now going into recess for the summer.

Join us in September for more live coverage of events at Stormont.

Remuneration in the magistrates' courts

Committee
BBC

Departmental officials Mark McGuckin, Mark McGuicken and Richard Cushnie arrive to brief the committee on a consultation into remunerating exceptional circumstances in the magistrates' courts in Northern Ireland.

'Open a window'

Domestic violence victim
BBC

Paul Frew asks how victims of domestic violence can be encouraged to testify, and law enforcement agencies encouraged to gather evidence.

Prof Stark says he tells the police: "Don't take a picture, open a window".

He says that by "open a window" he means to gather historical evidence.

Coercive control and domestic violence

Evan Stark
BBC

Prof Evan Stark of Rutgers University, New Jersey, briefs the committee on coercive control and domestic violence.

He explains the new offence of domestic violence already introduced in England and Wales, and expected to be introduced in Scotland in the near future.

European arrest warrant

David Lavery
BBC

DoJ official David Lavery says a Brexit unit has been set up in the department to advise the minister, and she will be meeting the Irish justice minister and the Tánaiste (deputy prime minister) on Monday.

He says the matters of common interest include European arrest warrant "which has been a very effective mechanism'.

Mr Lavery says that the department understands that "a non-member state can still participate in that arrangement".

Brexit and justice

Sammy Douglas
BBC

Sammy Douglas of the DUP asks about the implications of Brexit for justice.

The minister says the border is a priority.

"For me it is all about ensuring the strongest relationship with our colleagues in the south," she says.

'Humanising justice'

Declan Kearney
BBC

Declan Kearney of Sinn Féin welcomes the minister's commitment to "humanising justice".

He says he wants to see "real, meaningful, tangible impacts at a community level and across society as a whole". 

'Monsters' in the justice brief

Maghaberry Prison
BBC
Maghaberry Prison

Paul Frew says there are "some monsters" within Ms Sugden's brief, including the police and prison service "to name a few".

He asks about staffing numbers and sickness levels in the prison service.

"Sickness levels are probably higher than we would like them to be," Ms Sugden says.

Brexit 'must be respected'

Flags
EPA

On the subject of Brexit, the minister says she "was disappointed by the outcome of the EU referendum personally".

However, she says it was a UK-wide decision and must be accepted, and that the best outcomes must now be sought for Northern Ireland.

'Outcomes-based approach'

Justice Committee
BBC
Today's meeting of the Justice Committee.

Ms Sugden says she feels "very supported by my executive colleagues" and advocates the "outcomes-based" approach adopted by the new executive.

On the question of dissident activity, she says she has met the chief constable and is in close contact with the secretary of state.

"I will continue to make public order and security issues a priority". the minister says.

Justice minister briefing

Claire Sugden
BBC

The new Justice Minister, Claire Sugden, arrives to brief the committee on key issues and priorities.

Justice Committee

Paul Frew
BBC

The DUP's Paul Frew is chairing this afternoon's committee meeting.

The committee adjourns

Linda Dillon adjourns the committee until September.

Join us at 14:00 BST for live coverage of the Justice Committee.

Justice Minister Claire Sugden is briefing members on her priorities.

Committee to discuss Brexit implications regularly

The officials leave the committee. 

Members discuss some concerns about Brexit raised from the briefings. 

The committee chairperson says she wants the committee to have a departmental briefing on a monthly basis, so the committee can regularly discuss the ongoing implications of Brexit. 

Horizon 2020

Caoimhe Archibald of of Sinn Féin asks if Northern Ireland is still able to take part in Horizon 2020, "perhaps as partners, but not lead on it". 

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever, with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). 

Mr Lavery says "at the minute, we are in the Horizon 2020 project" and "there are certain countries who are not in the EU who can benefit from the Horizon 2020 project". 

However, he says, "I don't think you can be a lead partner" and he says "our access to any funding regimes will be an issue for us". 

Ballybofey poultry waste site

Ballybofey site
BBC

Robin Swann asks about the Ballybofey poultry waste site and how this site will operate as an non-EU funded site in an EU country. 

Mr Lavery says: "We need to work with our counterpart in the south [of Ireland] to look at all of the cros- border issues and work our way through them". 

RDP and CAP payments

Linda Dillon asks for assurance that the Rural Development Programme (RDP) will continue to run until 2020. 

Mr Lavery says that, at the present time, the RDP will "continue to run" and we are "continuing to implement our programmes". 

He says the department iscontinuing to implement the payment of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidy payments. 

"I cannot say what will happen in the next two or three years," he says. 

Theresa May on Common Travel Area

BBC NI political correspondent Stephen Walker tweets

Business as normal for DAERA

Noel Lavery
BBC

The final oral briefing this morning is from DAERA officials, again on the implications of Brexit for the department. 

Mr Noel Lavery says "it is early days and there are a considerable number of unknowns around how the negotiation period [of two years] will be managed". 

"We are operating business as normal," he says. 

Amongst other implications, he says the department will need to revise all of the legislation and assess implications for trade as "70% of trade for food and drink is outside of Northern Ireland".  

Brexit 'opens new discussions' on corporation tax

Arlene Foster
BBC

The UK's exit from the EU "opens up new discussions" about corporation tax in Northern Ireland, the First Minister has told the BBC's Good Morning Ulster programme. 

Earlier this week Arlene Foster said she will explore, with the Treasury, whether the leaving the EU could cut the cost of lowering corporation tax in NI.  

Rural has to be promoted

Field gate
BBC

Sydney Anderson says, as it concerns 40% of the population in Northern Ireland, "rural does have to be promoted". 

However, he says the word that has been used a lot this morning, is "uncertainty". 

Ms Teresa Canavan of the Rural Development Council says "the uncertainty is around the immediate and what happens with the current Rural Development Programme". 

"Will it last to 2020?" she asks. 

'Brexit creates fear and concern'

Majella Murphy
BBC
Majella Murphy

The next briefing is from the Rural Development Council,  Rural Community Network and the Northern Ireland Rural Women's Network. 

Linda Dillon says this is the group most "likely to be most concerned" as they are going to be the most likely affected. 

Majella Murphy from the Northern Ireland Rural Women's Network says "Brexit creates fear and concern about the future of rural development" and urges the committee to protect the funding. 

EU legislation

Robin Swann
BBC

Ulster Unionist Robin Swann asks how many of the environmental regulations are governed by the EU. 

Mr Casement says it is "going to be quite a complex task to untangle everything" and "work out what is [EU legislation] and what is not". 

Jennifer Fulton says"200 pieces of environmental legislation passed through the EU since the 1970s". 

"It is huge," she says. 

The DUP's Maurice Bradley says sorting out legislation "should be a priority". 

'Negotiations can take a long, long time'

Patrick Casement
BBC
Patrick Casement

The DUP's William Irwin says the UK will not be leaving the EU for another two or three years and that gives adequate time to implement changes. 

Mr Patrick Casement from NIEL says it is "going to put everybody under pressure". 

Ms Dillon says "I think we are well aware here that negotiations can take a long, long time". 

Environmentalists give briefing

Environment groups
BBC

Representatives from the Northern Ireland Environment Link (NIEL), as well as Ms Jennifer Fulton of the Ulster Wildlife Trust and Ms Joanne Sherwood from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, arrive to brief members on their initial reaction to Brexit. 

Mr Craig McGuicken from NIEL says all of the representatives "work in the environment as we feel that the environment is essential to people". 

Mr McGuicken says the sector has "been through a tough time" and this time last year, the sector was "facing big funding cuts".

Supply Chain Forum

Sinn Féin's Caoimhe Archibald asks about the development of the Supply Chain Forum. 

The Supply Chain Forum was set up in 2015 by the former Agriculture Minister, Michelle O'Neill. 

The forum was established to improve communication and trust between sectors of the food supply industry.  

Mr Bell says he would like to see the forum "make more progress", so "more of our own food will be going into public procurement".

Mr Carmichael says we "seem to take a long time to respond, or act to what it happening here".

"If we are going to have a Supply Chain Forum we need to see results or ideas for going forward ," he says. 

An opportunity to 're-establish farming as an industry'

Sydney Anderson
BBC

The DUP's Sydney Anderson asks the representatives if they would agree that the "vast majority of farmers would see this as an opportunity to re-establish farming as an industry". 

Mr Bell says "farmers accept all round that change was needed" and that there was a "very diverse range of views" within the UFU. 

Mr Michael Clarke of NIAPA says "87% of our income is made up of subsidies" and says this will not be guaranteed by Westminister. 

Mr Jim Carmichael of NIAPA says farmers would "much rather get a return from the marketplace" and the marketplace is "not giving their returns". 

Villiers: Brexit doesn't have to mean 'isolationism'

Theresa Villiers
BBC

The UK's decision to leave the EU doesn't mean "pulling up the drawbridge... and isolationism" for Northern Ireland, the Secretary of State has said.   

Theresa Villiers told the BBC's Good Morning Ulster programme she thinks the cut to corporation tax in NI is still "deliverable" by April 2018.  

'A knee-jerk reaction at the time'

Patsy McGlone
BBC

The SDLP's Patsy McGlone says farmers are "shocked" at what has happened and "87% of their income is no longer secured".

"I don't know how this is going to be resolved," he says. 

Mr Bell says it is "the uncertainty at the present time" and if the referendum had of happened a few years ago, the result may have been different. 

He says the farming industry has "been in a crisis for the past 18 months", that "a lot of people have decided that the system isn't working" and it may have been "a knee-jerk reaction at the time". 

Brexit brings opportunities

The DUP's William Irwin asks if the UFU see opportunities arising from Brexit. 

Mr Bell agrees that there will be opportunities but says the "biggest threat is what direct support will look like". 

'The process has kicked off'

Barclay Bell
BBC

Committee members are receiving a briefing from representatives from the Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) and the Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers Association (NIAPA) on their initial views on Brexit and strategic priorities. 

Mr Barclay Bell from the Ulster Farmers' Union says, in terms of Brexit, the "process has kicked off". 

He discusses financial priorities and says "what the pot of money will be could be anybody's guess". 

"It is critical that we fight the corner very hard, that we do get a fair share of the money, whatever that might be," he says. 

In the chair

Linda Dillon
BBC

Sinn Féin's Linda Dillon is chairing this morning's meeting of the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee. 

Good morning

Castle with flags
Getty Images
The reaction to Brexit will dominate this morning's meeting of the Agriculture Committee.

Welcome to the final day at the Northern Ireland Assembly before summer recess. 

This morning, we have live coverage of the Agriculture Committee from 10:00 BST. 

Committee members will receive a briefing from the Ulster Farmers' Union and the Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers Association (NIAPA), on their initial views on Brexit. 

This afternoon from 14:00 BST, Justice Minister Claire Sugden will brief the Justice Committee on her key issues and priorities.