A new agreement aimed at resolving post-Brexit issues in Northern Ireland has been announced by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
So far, the only perspectives on what the agreement means are those of Mr. Sunak and Mrs. von der Leyen.
We recently published the complete text of their agreement, and soon we should be able to give you a clearer picture of everything that's covered.
Here is what we currently know about the deal, also known as the Windsor Framework:.
- A new "green lane" will be created for goods headed from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, with a separate "red lane" for goods that might continue on to the EU.
- According to Mr. Sunak, "burdensome customs bureaucracy" on goods passing through the green lane will be eliminated.
- According to him, this indicates that food sold in British supermarkets will also be available in Northern Ireland.
- Exporters who choose the green lane would need to only provide the bare minimum of paperwork.
- There will be no longer be "onerous requirements" for moving pets.
- Pharmacies and hospitals in Northern Ireland carry medications that have been given the go-ahead by the UK regulatory body.
- According to Mr. Sunak, Northern Irish residents will not need to fill out any customs paperwork when sending packages to friends and family or when conducting online shopping.
- EU VAT regulations may be applied in Northern Ireland under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
- According to Mr. Sunak, the UK will be able to make "critical VAT" changes, including those affecting Northern Ireland.
- For instance, he said, if the government changes the price of alcohol, it will also affect pubs in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
- According to the protocol, Northern Ireland is subject to some EU law, but politicians had no official way to affect the laws.
- According to Mr. Sunak, as of right now "the only EU law that applies in Northern Ireland under the framework is the bare minimum to avoid a hard border with Ireland and permit Northern Irish businesses to continue accessing the EU market.".
- An EU goods law that "would have significant, and lasting effects on everyday lives" is now subject to "emergency brakes," according to a new agreement, which Northern Ireland's Stormont Assembly can use.
- The UK government could veto new EU laws if the brake is applied.
- What would transpire, however, if the UK did use its veto is unknown.