Windsor/Brussels Sunak said the new agreement provides for trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland to run smoothly in the future. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. A border will no longer be observed, the Prime Minister said. Goods bound for Northern Ireland must have a “green lane” such as a green “no duty to declare” exit from the airport. Additionally, the Northern Irish Parliament will have a say on whether new EU regulations apply to the province.
Sunak and van der Leyen praised each other for the collaboration and the result achieved. The head of the EU Commission said it was “historic”. Sunak spoke of a “decisive improvement”. Both stressed that this was a “new chapter” in EU-UK relations.
How is Northern Ireland’s Protestant party, the DUP, doing?
So whether the Northern Irish Protestant party, the DUP, will accept the new deal is now eagerly awaited. DUP boss Geoffrey Donaldson spoke of significant progress but there were “major issues of concern”. Against the rules, the DUP has been blocking the formation of a regional government in Northern Ireland for months. It is now under pressure to break its political deadlock.
This, and the reaction of Brexit hardliners in his own party, may depend on whether Chung has the political room to manoeuvre. His predecessors Theresa May and Liz Truss and former prime minister Boris Johnson were unable to end the controversy.
In the House of Commons, Sunak addressed his critics, insisting that he had taken their concerns into account and understood their reservations. However, concessions long considered impossible have been wrested from the EU. The prime minister said the new deal – officially named the “Windsor Framework” after where the deal was reached – “despite what many say is unachievable”.
In a press release, it made clear what the EU Commission expected from your offers: It said Great Britain would no longer pursue a controversial legislative proposal to repeal the Northern Ireland Protocol. Sunak confirmed this and indicated that the EU would not take further legal action.
“The long-standing debate will now finally be resolved”
The dispute put a strain on relations between London and Brussels, but also on relations between London and Berlin. Relief is also great in the European Parliament. Bernd Lange (SPD), head of the trade group, said a resumption of relations was possible. David McAllister (CDU), who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed hope that “the long-standing debate that has been lurking will finally be resolved”.
For van der Leyen, the evening continued with an audience with King Charles, which caused some ire in Great Britain. The King has always stayed strictly out of day-to-day politics. So it is considered unusual that he met van der Leyen on the same day as a controversial deal with Brussels was concluded. Critics accused Sunak of using the king for his own purposes. A spokesman for the prime minister insisted that the decision on who the king would receive was solely up to the palace.
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