UK and EU reach a new agreement under the Northern Ireland Protocol

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UK and EU reach a new agreement under the Northern Ireland Protocol

The United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) have agreed on the “Windsor Framework Agreement” to resolve trade issues under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met in Windsor to discuss the Northern Ireland Protocol, which has become a problem between the parties after Brexit.

At the press conference held after the meeting, Sunak stated that they have made a major breakthrough in resolving the disputes within the scope of the Northern Ireland Protocol and said, “Today’s Windsor Framework Agreement protects the smooth trade in the UK, the location of Northern Ireland and the sovereignty of the people of Northern Ireland.”

Sunak said that with the progress made, they found ways to resolve the uncertainties regarding trade and customs processes with Northern Ireland and took three major steps.

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The first of these steps is the smooth flow of trade within the UK, Sunak said, explaining that products destined for Northern Ireland will be separated into ‘green lanes’ and products likely to go to the EU will be separated into ‘red lanes’.

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Sunak stated that customs bureaucracy will be eliminated for ‘green lane’ products and the decision in the Northern Ireland Protocol that the control of products will be carried out in the Irish Sea will no longer be applied.

The second step is that products in the UK will also be available in Northern Ireland, Sunak said, “All products in UK markets will also be available in Northern Ireland. In addition, today’s agreement is also a milestone in terms of medicines because medicines approved by the UK authorities will also be accessible in Northern Ireland.”

Sunak stated that the third important step is to protect the sovereignty of the people of Northern Ireland and said that the Northern Ireland Assembly will have a say on these laws and their implementation and that the Belfast Agreement will be protected.

Describing the Windsor Framework Agreement as a “turning point”, Sunak stated that the agreement will contribute to the solution of the problems encountered in practice.

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“The agreement opens a new page”

EU Commission President von der Leyen stated that the Windsor Framework Agreement is a new page and said, “This agreement offers long-term solutions and we believe that these solutions will respond to the concerns of the people of Northern Ireland.”

Von der Leyen stated that the Windsor Framework Agreement also ushered in a stronger era in EU-UK relations.

About the Northern Ireland Protocol

The Northern Ireland Protocol, part of the Brexit deal, regulates trade between Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member.

According to the Protocol, despite Brexit, Northern Ireland remains subject to EU customs union rules. Trade with the rest of the United Kingdom is subject to customs at Northern Ireland ports.

The Belfast Agreement (Good Friday Agreement), which ended the war between Catholic separatists and Protestants in favor of unity with the UK, does not establish a physical land border where controls can be carried out. Therefore, although it was agreed that controls would only be carried out at sea, there were problems in their implementation.

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