UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen displayed what has become an increasingly uncommon showing of UK/EU cooperation and agreement late last month with the announcement of the breakthrough Windsor Framework.
The new deal for Northern Ireland fixes many of the problems that the previous protocol had thrown up for both businesses and individuals.
If agreed upon and enacted into law, some of the key takeaways for UK firms include:
- Green and red lanes for trade, with green lane goods destined for NI requiring significantly fewer checks and less paperwork, whilst red lane goods at risk of moving into the EU requiring normal checks
- New data sharing and labelling arrangements (TBC)
- Goods moving from NI to GB will not require export declarations
- Specific GB products like potato seeds and sausages will once again be sold in NI
- Updated rules on pets, parcels and medicines too
Breakthrough could reignite US trade deal talks
Both Trump and Biden have been outspoken in their ‘disappointment’ at the state in which Northern Ireland was left as a result of the old protocol… and that disappointment actively put a blocker on talks towards a mega trade deal between the two nations.
The announcement of the Windsor Framework was greeted warmly by the current President who noted its importance in upholding the Good Friday Agreement.
A White House source then hinted towards wider benefits, noting that: “We believe that this will help improve the prosperity of both the EU and the UK, and will open up all kinds of new avenues for trade that were somewhat at risk.”
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The government had been hoping for a swift trade deal to be agreed upon with its largest ally in the wake of the Brexit vote and has since opted instead to pursue economic arrangements with individual States.
New developments could mean a more comprehensive agreement is back on the table, whilst talks for the UK to gain access to the CPTPP could also be reignited.