What’s going on with Northern Ireland?
The Prime Minister has announced a new trade deal with the EU which will allow easier trade with Northern Ireland. We, at JLDN have compiled some of the key effects this deal will have.
Green and Red Lanes
The so-called Windsor Framework proposes a green and red lane system, which will allow UK businesses to send goods to Northern Ireland without having to go through EU customs.
This will, if agreed upon by the DUP, allow UK businesses to send goods, like food and parcels, to Northern Ireland with only an electronic verification, known as the green lane. It also makes it easier for companies exporting to the EU, by creating a clear path for them to follow through customs, known as the red lane.
Some food items will now be branded with, “for Northern Ireland” so that it’s clear which items are intended to take the green lane.
It was also announced that Northern Ireland will have instant access to medication available within the UK, without it having to pass the EU’s checks and balances.
Less EU influence over Northern Ireland
At the press conference announcing this new framework, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said it was the beginning of stronger UK/EU relations.
Northern Ireland will only continue to be subject to 3% of EU laws that can be revoked in a “Consent Vote” next year.
This new deal will also give the Northern Irish assembly powers to block new EU laws that will affect them, called a Stormont Brake. If 30 MPs from two parties vote to block a law, the UK government will be given the power of veto.
The UK government will now also control VAT, Alcohol Duty and State Aid policy, which under the prior agreement were controlled by the EU.
What happens now?
The DUP have said there are still key issues in the framework that need to be discussed and will not commit to it until further discussions with the Prime Minister can happen.
However, if they decide to agree to this new deal, the strong cross-party support for it in Westminster will pass it quickly into law.