David McAllister MEP: A swift implementation of all agreed solutions in the Windsor Framework
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David McAllister MEP: A swift implementation of all agreed solutions in the Windsor Framework

I welcome the Windsor Framework, announced on 27 February 2023 by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and formalised in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee Decision adopted on 24 March.

This Framework addresses, in a definitive manner, the challenges that have arisen in the operation of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland over the past two years. It represents a new way forward and relies on a comprehensive set of joint solutions that respond to the everyday needs of people and businesses in Northern Ireland and protect the EU Single Market, while supporting and protecting the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement.

The joint solutions cover, inter alia, new arrangements on customs/movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, agri-food, medicines, VAT and excise, Tariff Rate Quotas for certain categories of steel, clarifications on the application of State aid rules, as well as specific instruments designed to ensure that the voices of the people of Northern Ireland are better heard on specific issues particularly relevant to the communities there. These new arrangements are underpinned by robust safeguards to ensure the integrity of the EU’s Single Market, to which Northern Ireland continues to enjoy unique access.

Following the adoption of a package of joint decisions, recommendations and declarations at the Joint Committee meeting on 24 March, a swift implementation of all agreed solutions in good faith is now required.

The full operationalisation of the joint solutions need to be prioritised by both sides. The European Union institutions are advancing the work on the solutions in the areas of agri-food, medicines and Tariff Rate Quotas for certain categories of steel. For the overall implementation of the Framework, the UK and the EU should make full use of the joint bodies provided by the Agreement. The Specialised Committee on the implementation of the Windsor Framework should organise the work on flexibilities and safeguards and monitor progress ahead.

The agreement on the Windsor Framework allows the European Union and the United

Kingdom to turn the page towards a more positive and stable bilateral relationship based on shared interests and values.