After months of difficult negotiations, the British government and the European Union have reached an agreement on post-Brexit restrictions in Northern Ireland. “This is the beginning of a new chapter in our relationship.”British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the deal at a press conference with European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen in Windsor, a western suburb of London.
the previous day, on TwitterR, Mme Van der Leyen had already said “Can’t wait to turn the page and open a new chapter with our partner and friend”, United Kingdom.
The Windsor Agreement is expected to significantly reduce customs restrictions on goods coming from Britain to Northern Ireland. This would reduce the application of EU regulations in the British province.
“We have agreed to concrete guarantees (…) It will protect the integrity of the European single market.”Ursula von der Leyen insisted. “More importantly, the Good Friday Agreement preserves the hard-won peace” This ended the conflict between Unionists, especially Protestants, and Republicans, mostly Catholics, and 25e The anniversary will be celebrated in April, he said.
Signed in 2020, the Northern Ireland Protocol, negotiated by former prime minister Boris Johnson after Brexit, regulates the movement of goods between Northern Ireland, which shares a land border with the EU, and the rest of the UK. The protocol sought to avoid a land border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, which would have risked weakening the peace that ended in 1998 after three bloody decades, while preserving the single European market.
But goods coming to Northern Ireland, particularly from Great Britain, caused practical problems by imposing customs restrictions, even if they were intended to remain in the British province.
The protocol has created tensions between the EU and London, but it has become an internal problem for Rishi Sunak, who has faced opposition from Brexit hardliners and unionists from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Northern Ireland is a member of the United Kingdom. The latter denied any practical application of European law to the British province and blocked the functioning of local administration for a year.
After the announcement of the deal between London and Brussels, the leader of the DUP announced that he “It takes time to read the details and evaluate the deal”.
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Before her meeting with Rishi Sunak, Ursula van der Leyen met with Charles III, an interview criticized by some who lamented the king’s involvement in such controversial political discussions. “If any foreign chief visits England, the King is pleased to meet him, and it is the advice of the Government to do so.”Buckingham Palace responded in a statement.
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