This very difficult issue was unnecessarily complicated, causing economic and political issues that were very unwelcome once the Northern Ireland Protocol was signed following the UK’s exit from the EU.
The Windsor Framework introduces simplified controls for goods entering NI from GB and also brings back VAT rules consistent with GB. This should remove barriers to trade, allow better compliance, and provide economic stability. It introduces green and red lanes for the movement of goods, based on a trusted trader scheme.
The framework offers a practical and workable way forward, facilitating trade, offering control and removing many of the difficult issues arising from the dual status of NI following the initial agreement.
One significant part of the framework is the ability of the UK to re-join the EU Horizon research programme (this has a budget of £84bn). This collaboration with EU researchers is fundamental to the research capability of the UK, which is a world leader in this sector.
More information about the Windsor Framework is available here.
The Windsor Framework is still subject to approval.