The latest deal comes after massive support in the House of Commons this week
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announced that a new “effective cooperation” with the European Union was agreed at the same time as the president of the European Commission, Maros Sefcovic, announced the so-called “Windsor Agreement”.
The final agreement came after overwhelming support in the House of Commons this week (by 515 votes in favor and 29 against) three weeks after the announcement by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen.
After more than a year of negotiations to reach the controversial Irish Protocol, the “thorn in the ass” of Brexit, James Clely highlighted the “positive spirit” in the last step to remove the friction of internal trade of the United Kingdom.
“What we have achieved is something that protects the EU’s single market, that protects the internal market of the kingdom and, perhaps most importantly, that protects the main elements of the Parasceve Peace Treaty,” Lepide said.
“From now on, business in Northern Ireland will be able to do business with greater certainty and foresight,” said Maros Sefcovic, implicitly acknowledging the obstacles that existed in the Irish Protocol.
The new “Windsor” agreement creates a “green lane” for goods destined for Northern Ireland from Great Britain, with customs formalities removed, unlike the “red lane” for goods destined for the Republic of Ireland.
The convention mechanism allows the creation of the “Stormont Brake” so that a local Assembly can block community legislation that continues to apply in its territory. The text provides for arbitration roles for local courts, although it ultimately refers to the European Court of Justice.
“This agreement will not be abandoned,” warned the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris, who acknowledged that the Conservative Party would rebuild after the vote in the House of Commons, approving the support of the Labor Party and the opposition despite the vote against by some of the twenty hard “Tory” MPs (including the former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and former “Premier” Liz Truss).
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) also voted against the deal and refused its bid to form a single government with Sinn Féin, the first political force in Northern Ireland since its victory in local elections ten months ago.
Unionist MP Ian Paisley Jr. he strongly criticized the new agreement, saying that it is “a simple rewrite of the Irish Protocol”, that many products originating from Great Britain still have to undergo “paper customs” and that Belfast is still in the wounds “in the legislative orbit of Brussels”.
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