- James Cleverly and Maroš Šefčovič to co-chair two meetings to formally adopt the Windsor Framework and discuss ongoing UK-EU cooperation on trade, energy and security.
- Today’s meetings follow the successful vote in the House of Commons on the Stormont Brake.
- The Windsor Framework is the best deal for Northern Ireland, which ensures the smooth flow of internal UK trade, safeguards NI’s place in the Union and addresses the democratic deficit.
Today (Friday 24 March) the Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, and Vice President to the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič, will formally sign off the Windsor Framework at the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee in London.
The meeting follows the successful vote in the House of Commons, where MPs overwhelmingly supported legislation on the Stormont Brake. The Brake introduces a powerful democratic safeguard that will give Northern Ireland institutions, once restored, a powerful role in the decision on whether significant new goods rules should apply in Northern Ireland.
The EU also formally agreed to the key elements of the Windsor Framework during a Council of the EU on Tuesday.
The Joint Committee demonstrates the UK’s commitment to the Windsor Framework as the best deal for Northern Ireland. The fundamentally new arrangements fix the practical problems of the Protocol and secure a new way forward for a prosperous, stable future for Northern Ireland.
Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, said:
By formally approving the Windsor Framework, we are delivering on our commitment to provide stability and certainty for Northern Ireland.
The Framework is the best deal for Northern Ireland, safeguarding its place in the Union and protecting the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.
I look forward to further effective cooperation with the EU on key issues, such as security and energy.
Once the Joint Committee formally adopts the Windsor Framework the UK government will look to begin implementing the framework.
The Joint Committee will be followed by a Partnership Council, also chaired by Cleverly and Šefčovič, which oversees the implementation, application and interpretation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The Partnership Council will cover wider UK-EU cooperation, including on issues such as the UK’s access to EU science and research programmes, energy, trade and security.
The UK will continue to work with the EU in a range of areas including research collaboration, but also strengthening sanctions against Russia as well as energy security, and illegal migration.
Cleverly and Šefčovič will also welcome an agreement reached between the UK, Ireland and the European Commission on PEACE PLUS, the new cross border and shared management programme that will promote peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland. The UK government will today lay a financing treaty in parliament that will allow parliamentary scrutiny before its entry into force.
PEACE PLUS will support vital ongoing work to promote peace and reconciliation and contribute to the cross-border economic and territorial development of the programme area.
- The Joint Committee was created by the Withdrawal Agreement and has the power to formally make changes to the Agreement, including by way of the Windsor Framework.
Further info on the Joint Committee:
The Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee oversees UK and EU implementation, application and interpretation of the Withdrawal Agreement.
It is a joint body with UK and EU co-chairs to oversee all matters relating to the Withdrawal Agreement including the Windsor Framework. The Joint Committee will also seek to resolve any issues that may arise during implementation.
It is chaired by the Foreign Secretary and Vice President Šefčovič.
On EU programmes, the Foreign Secretary is expected to welcome the EU’s recent willingness to engage in discussions on UK association to EU Programmes following two years of delay and highlight the UK government’s commitment to supporting our R&D sector. However, the EU have not yet made any proposals to address the financial terms of UK association, given we are now over 2 years into a 7-year programme.
PEACE PLUS is the new programme focused on supporting social, economic and regional stability, in particular by promoting cohesion between communities. It is the successor programme to the current Peace Programme. The programme will contribute towards a more prosperous and stable society in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland. It will fund activities that promote peace and reconciliation and contribute to the cross-border economic and territorial development of the region. This will be the fifth PEACE programme implemented by the Special EU Programmes Body.