The Prime Minister’s recent agreement with representatives of the EU regarding movements to and from Northern Ireland, is now being reviewed by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) before they can confirm their support.

As such, the DUP have launched a consultation process with an eight-person panel to ascertain whether the deal will work for Northern Ireland. Therefore, it could be April before the review is finalised and the government put the vote to parliament. The EU side of the deal could be agreed by the end of March.

The new deal is referred to as the ‘Windsor Framework’, and subject to passing through a vote in parliament and the European Commision, we could see a phased implementation start to roll out this year.

The key takeaways from the new deal include:

  • Goods from Britain destined for Northern Ireland will travel through a new “green lane”, with a separate “red lane” for goods at risk of moving on to the EU.
  • Products coming into Northern Ireland through the green lane will see checks and paperwork significantly reduced, while red lane goods will still be subject to normal checks.
  • A “Stormont brake” allows the Northern Ireland Assembly to raise an objection to “significantly different” new EU rules which would apply in Northern Ireland.
  • Northern Ireland would also no longer have to follow certain EU rules, for example on VAT and excise for some drinks and goods.

As ever, Westbound will be monitoring developments.

If you have any questions regarding the above, then Westbound are here to help. So, please do not hesitate to contact us.