Britain and the European Union (EU) this Friday formally adopted their new agreement on post-Brexit trade agreements that govern Northern Ireland, generating acrimony internally and also between London and Brussels.
British Foreign Minister James Cleverly and European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic signed the so-called “Windsor framework” in London.
“We grant a new positive impetus to the relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom,” hoping to “open new avenues for greater cooperation in the political and economic fields.”
“We believe that by putting this new framework in place, we are opening up new opportunities for people and businesses in Northern Ireland,” he added.
In a statement, Lepide made the “Windsor framework” “the best” for “Northern Ireland, securing its place in the UK and protecting it”, in 1998 in Paris, which left more than three decades of conflict between Catholic Republicans and Protestant Unionists. than 3,600 died.
British lawmakers mostly approved a crucial part of Wednesday’s text despite a backlash from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other Eurosceptic Conservatives who voted against it.
Northern Ireland’s main unionist party, the DUP, also voted against a key measure that blocked the Northern Irish Home Rule parliament, implementing new European rules in the region.
Despite “representing real progress”, the new agreement “does not address the fundamental issue, that is, the imposition of EU legislation” on Northern Ireland, the DUP leader, Jeffrey Donaldson, had justified last week.
The “Windsor framework”, reached last month between London and Brussels, the so-called Northern Irish protocol, negotiated by Johnson in 2020 in the framework of Brexit, departure from the European Union.
That Northern Protocol has kept Europe in the single market, with the aim of preventing a physical land border with the neighboring Republic of Ireland, a member of the EU, which threatens the fragile peace between republicans and unionists.
However, in order to do this, he imposed customs controls on products coming into the country from the rest of the United Kingdom, which the DUP threatened to declare a place in the Northern Ireland region.
This protest party lined up the regional institutions of Northern Ireland for a year, where Catholics and Protestants should share the power of peace in 1998.
Sinn Féin, the first partition of the island in 1921, the political wing of the former Irish Republican Army (IRA), won the regional elections, but was unable to form a government due to a blockade by unionists.