July 20. 2024. 11:31

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UK, EU to formally adopt Windsor Framework

The UK and EU will meet on Friday to officially sign off on the Windsor Framework – an agreement to address the free movement of goods in the current Northern Ireland Protocol – at the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee, co-chaired by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič.

At the framework’s heart are proposals for ‘green’ and ‘red’ lanes that would end customs checks for goods staying in Northern Ireland and impose bureaucratic requirements on those travelling on to the Republic of Ireland, and a mechanism, known as the ‘Stormont brake’ to give Northern Irish lawmakers a say in whether to accept future EU single market laws.

On Tuesday, the European Council adopted two decisions related to the Windsor Framework.

“The agreement on the Windsor Framework is a truly positive achievement ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement,” said Swedish EU Affairs Minister Jessika Roswall. “It will benefit people and businesses in Northern Ireland and should allow the EU and the UK to open a new chapter in our relations,” she added.

“The Framework is the best deal for Northern Ireland, safeguarding its place in the Union and protecting the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement,” said Cleverly.

“I look forward to further effective cooperation with the EU on key issues, such as security and energy,” he added.

Once the Joint Committee formally adopts the Windsor Framework, the UK government will begin to implement it.

Additionally, ​​Cleverly and Šefčovič will also welcome an agreement reached between the UK, Ireland, and the EU Commission on PEACE PLUS, a programme designed to support peace and prosperity across Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland.

(Sofia Stuart Leeson | EURACTIV.com)