British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference

British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference

The British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (BIIC) is provided for under Strand Three of the Belfast Agreement. The inaugural meeting took place at 10 Downing Street on 17 December 1999 and was chaired by Prime Minister Tony Blair and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and attended by representatives of the Irish Government and UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive.


The BIIC subsumes the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Council and Conference established under Article 2 of the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement. It guarantees the government of the Republic of Ireland a say in areas of bilateral co-operation and on those matters not yet devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly or the North-South Ministerial Council.

The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will chair the intergovernmental conferences which will be convened as required. There is provision under the Agreement for Members of the Legislative Assembly to be involved in the intergovernmental conference but they will not have the power to block decisions taken by the two governments.

"The British-Irish Inter-Governmental Conference and Secretariat were established in December 1999 by the British-Irish Agreement to promote bilateral co-operation between the UK and Ireland.

The Conference replaced the Anglo-Irish Conference which was established by the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985. Under the terms of the British-Irish Agreement, the Conference is supported by officials of the British and Irish Governments, including a standing Joint Secretariat of officials dealing with non-devolved Northern Ireland matters.On suspension, devolved matters revert to the Conference’s remit.The last meeting of the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference took place in Dundalk, 26th February 2007." [ Northern Ireland Office]

Devolved matters

In respect of bilateral co-operation these include:
*Asylum and immigration, including Common Travel Area issues
*European Union and international issues
*Social security including methods of fraud detection
*Policy on misuse of drugs: combating organised crime and associated money laundering
*Fiscal issues

Non-devolved matters

In respect of non-devolved matters issues include:
*Policing, including implementation of the Patten Report
*Criminal justice
*Normalisation of security arrangements and practices
*Cross-border security co-operation
*Victims of violence
*Prison issues
*Drugs and drug trafficking


ee also

*British-Irish Council
*Belfast Agreement
*Northern Ireland Executive
*Her Majesty's Government
*Irish Government

External links

* [ British-Irish Council]

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