Northern Ireland: The New Trade Deal

Mar 9, 2023

Northern Ireland: The New Trade Deal, Evolution Forwarding

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, recently advised that he had negotiated a new trade deal with representatives of the EU, regarding movements to and from Northern Ireland.

What is known as the ‘Windsor Framework’ still needs to be passed through votes in parliament and the European Commision, but a phased implementation could start to roll out this year.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have not confirmed support of the deal yet and have launched a consultation process with an eight-person panel before advising their stance. This is expected to be complete in April, before the vote is put to parliament to finalise.

It is believed that the EU could approve their end of the deal by the end of March.

The key components of 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.

For many, this is the final hurdle in bringing the Brexit process to a close. Evolution are monitoring developments closely.

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