EU and UK formally adopt Windsor Framework

Brexit | | MIC Customs Solutions |

The UK and EU have formally signed off on the Windsor Framework, allowing for the implementation of a new customs regime for goods crossing the Irish Sea.

The EU and the UK have formally adopted the proposed Windsor Framework to ease trading friction between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland at a meeting in London.

Vice-president of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič and UK foreign secretary James Cleverly signed off on the new agreement at the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee. This marks a key formality for the arrangement and allows both parties to work towards full implementation of the accord.

It comes after the UK parliament overwhelmingly voted in favor of the framework earlier this week and the EU formally agreed key elements of the plan at a Council of the EU on Tuesday (March 21st).

Mr Šefčovič said the agreement is an important moment that will enable both sides to open a new chapter in EU-UK relations. He added the Framework will "provide people and businesses in Northern Ireland with lasting certainty and predictability, while also protecting the integrity of the EU’s Single Market". 

The agreement was also welcomed by Mr Cleverly, who said it will provide stability for Northern Ireland, while also paving the way for closer EU-UK cooperation on other key issues such as security and energy.

Among the key provisions of the Windsor Framework for traders will be the introduction of two new processes for shipping goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A 'green lane' should allow items intended to remain in the province to benefit from much-reduced checks, while for products heading on into the Republic, a 'red lane' will ensure full customs checks are carried out without the need for a hard border between north and south.

The UK House of Commons voted on Wednesday by a margin of 515 to 29 to support the deal, although those voting against the deal included former prime ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, as well as members of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.