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Von der Leyen and Sunak: Agreement on the Northern Ireland Protocol opens a new chapter



How will unionists in Northern Ireland take the deal?

With the agreement in principle on the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, the EU and the United Kingdom are opening a new chapter in their relations, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in Windsor.

The Northern Ireland Protocol governs trade issues following the UK’s exit from the EU. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak explained that the Windsor framework agreed today will enable trade without barriers across the country.

We reached an agreement in principle on the Windsor framework. Based on this new framework, we will be able to start a new chapter. It provides long-term solutions that we both believe will work for all people and businesses in Northern Ireland. Solutions that directly address their concerns,” said the President of the Commission after the agreement in principle on the Northern Ireland Protocol was confirmed Ursula von der Leyen.

The British Prime Minister also said that the agreement represents the beginning of a new chapter in relations between the EU and the United Kingdom. “VI believe we have found ways to address the uncertainty and challenges for the people of Northern Ireland,” he emphasized.

Green and red belts to eliminate “customs red tape”

Sunak explained that the Windsor framework modifies the Northern Ireland Protocol and will, among other things, enable unimpeded trade across the UK.

Namely, it introduces green belts for goods destined for Northern Ireland from the rest of the country. This will mean the elimination of “customs red tape”. Red belts will be introduced for goods that are at risk of entering the EU, which means maintaining the current customs rules.

One of the aims of the Northern Ireland Protocol was to prevent

The Northern Ireland Parliament can decide on European legislation

Today’s agreement also guarantees the sovereignty of the people of Northern Ireland, Sunak also assured. The Northern Ireland regional parliament will now be able to prevent European legislation regarding goods from applying in Northern Ireland.

Both Sunak and von der Leyen also emphasized that the Windsor framework will ensure the preservation of the peace brought about by the Easter Agreement 25 years ago.

Complications at the border after Brexit

The Northern Ireland Protocol came into force after the United Kingdom left the European Union and was supposed to prevent the establishment of border controls between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Indeed, the country remained part of the common market and customs area of ​​the European Union even after Brexit, and to avoid border controls, goods destined for Northern Ireland are inspected after they leave Great Britain. This, in turn, led to the opposition of hard Brexiteers and unionists in Northern Ireland, which again caused great political tensions in this part of the Irish island, reported RTV Slovenia’s correspondent from Brussels, Igor Jurič.

Brussels and London therefore sought practical solutions throughout the negotiations that would eliminate complications in the control of goods. Even today’s agreement does not yet bring a final solution, because the question is whether Eurosceptic members of Sunak’s conservative party and, of course, unionists in Northern Ireland will agree to it, Igor Jurič also reported.

Source: Rtvslo

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