Brexit: European Commission recommends the European Council (Article 50) to endorse the agreement reached on the revised Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland and revised Political Declaration

Boris Johnson.jpg

Mr Boris JOHNSON, UK Prime Minister. Copyright: European Union

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The European Commission has today recommended the European Council (Article 50) to endorse the agreement reached at negotiator level on the Withdrawal Agreement, including a revised Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, and approve a revised Political Declaration on the framework of the future EU-UK relationship. The Commission also recommends that the European Parliament give its consent to this agreement. This follows a series of intensive negotiations between the European Commission and UK negotiators over the past few days.

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, said: “This agreement is a fair compromise between the EU and the UK. It is testament to the commitment and willingness of both sides to do what is best for EU and UK citizens. We now have a newly agreed Protocol that protects peace and stability on the island of Ireland and fully protects our Single Market. I hope that we can now bring this over the line and provide the certainty our citizens and businesses so deserve.”

Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator, said: “We had difficult discussions over the past days. We have managed to find solutions that fully respect the integrity of the Single Market. We created a new and legally operative solution to avoid a hard border, and protect peace and stability on the island of Ireland. It is a solution that works for the EU, for the UK and for people and businesses in Northern Ireland.”

The revised Protocol provides a legally operational solution that avoids a hard border on the island of Ireland, protects the all-island economy and the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement in all its dimensions and safeguards the integrity of the Single Market. This solution responds to the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland with the aim of protecting peace and stability.

All other elements of the Withdrawal Agreement remain unchanged in substance, as per the agreement reached on 14 November 2018. The Withdrawal Agreement brings legal certainty where the UK’s withdrawal from the EU created uncertainty: citizens’ rights, the financial settlement, a transition period at least until the end of 2020, governance, Protocols on Gibraltar and Cyprus, as well as a range of other separation issues.

The revised Withdrawal Agreement

In terms of regulations, Northern Ireland will remain aligned to a limited set of rules related to the EU’s Single Market in order to avoid a hard border: legislation on goods, sanitary rules for veterinary controls (“SPS rules”), rules on agricultural production/marketing, VAT and excise in respect of goods, and state aid rules.

In terms of customs, the EU-UK Single Customs Territory, as agreed in November 2018, has been removed from the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, at the request of the current UK government. EU and UK negotiators have now found a new way to achieve the goal of avoiding a customs border on the island of Ireland, while at the same time ensuring Northern Ireland remains part of the UK’s customs territory. This agreement fully protects the integrity of the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union, and avoids any regulatory and customs checks at the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Finally, the EU and the UK have agreed to create a new mechanism on ‘consent’, which will give the Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly a decisive voice on the long-term application of relevant EU law in Northern Ireland. The Commission has been in close contact with the Irish government on this point.

The revised Political Declaration

The main change in the Political Declaration relates to the future EU-UK economic relationship where the current UK government has opted for a model based on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The Political Declaration provides for an ambitious FTA with zero tariffs and quotas between the EU and the UK. It states that robust commitments on a level playing field should ensure open and fair competition. The precise nature of commitments will be commensurate with the ambition of the future relationship and take into account the economic connectedness and geographic proximity of the UK.

Next steps

It is for the European Council (Article 50) to endorse the revised Withdrawal Agreement in its entirety, as well as approve the revised Political Declaration on the framework of the future relationship.

Before the Withdrawal Agreement can enter into force, it needs to be ratified by the EU and the UK. For the EU, the Council of the European Union must authorise the signature of the Withdrawal Agreement, before sending it to the European Parliament for its consent. The United Kingdom must ratify the agreement according to its own constitutional arrangements.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

4 eco-friendly products put sustainable spins on classic practices, from teacups to hankies

Parliament proposes policy toolbox to curb air pollution

EU Cohesion policy: Commission adopts €21 billion Greek Partnership Agreement for 2021-2027

UN welcomes Angola’s repeal of anti-gay law, and ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation

The fatal consequences of troika’s blind austerity policy

Protecting migratory species in a rapidly changing world

Companies that put employees first perform better

Prejudice-based medicine

Egyptian death sentences a ‘gross miscarriage of justice’: UN human rights chief

Palliative care and UHC in India: Still Uncharted Waters?

EU Commission announces Safe Harbour 2.0 and a wider Data protection reform

Traffic congestion cost the US economy nearly $87 billion in 2018

How we can win the war against antibiotic resistance

EU sets ambitious targets for the Warsaw climate conference

Mental health in medical students: the deciphered quandary

‘Jerusalem is not for sale’ Palestinian President Abbas tells world leaders at UN Assembly

India’s mega-rich are on the rise

Funding boost for sustainable development data agreed at UN conference

Dieselgate: Parliament calls for mandatory retrofits of polluting cars

Human rights breaches in Nigeria and Burundi

Moving from a promise made in Sweden towards hope for peace in Yemen

Ignorance or Refusal: Determinants in the individual’s choice for palliative care

Future Forces Forum: Prague will be hosting the most important project in the field of Defence and Security

To achieve the Great Reset, we will need more than just the actions of the powerful

Alternative proteins will transform food, mitigate climate change and drive profits. Here’s how

GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Europe – 14 June 2016

Antibiotics are contaminating the world’s rivers

This is how wellbeing drives social change and why cultural leaders need to talk about it

‘Unique opportunity’ to resolve border dispute between Sudan, South Sudan

Erasmus+: over €28 billion to support mobility and learning for all, across the European Union and beyond

Europe had a record year for Measles – and it’s partly down to anti-vaccine campaigners

Human rights breaches in Hong Kong, Russia and at the US-Mexican border

How governments can redesign support for entrepreneurs after COVID-19

What little Cameron got in Brussels seems enough to keep Britain in the EU

Climate change will be sudden and cataclysmic. We need to act fast

Athens urged to fast track asylum seekers amid island shelters crisis – UNHCR

EU-Vietnam trade agreement enters into force

Apparently the EU Digital Single Market passes necessarily from China’s Digital Silk Road

FROM THE FIELD: facing up to the extreme mental health pressures of conflict

Facebook: MEPs demand a full audit by EU bodies to assess data protection

Can Southeast Asia keep up with growing energy demand?

Religious violence is on the rise. What can faith-based communities do about it?

Draghi to hold on zero interest rates until he leaves ECB

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: 2019 review highlights that tackling climate change can be a driver for growth and jobs

Coronavirus variants: Commission calls for limiting essential travel from India

World Retail Congress Dubai 2016: Retail’s night of nights

Global Cooperation for Local Action: Fighting antimicrobial resistance

GSMA Introduces MWC21 Travel Partner Gray Dawes

EU Budget 2019: no deal before the end of the conciliation period

The Indian miracle state pointing the way to global sustainability

Amid ongoing fighting in northeast Syria, hundreds cross Iraqi border in search of safety

Poorer countries set to be ‘increasingly dependent’ on food imports, says UN food agency report

230 Junior Entrepreneurs and over 70 guests attended the International Congress on “Entrepreneurial Skills for Youth”

Summer pause gives time to rethink Eurozone’s problems

At last Britain considers a super-soft Brexit

Towards a tobacco free India

UN chief encourages victims of terrorism to ‘raise up their voices’

This Latin American country is keeping COVID-19 firmly under control. How?

‘Nothing left to go back for’: UN News hears extraordinary stories of loss, and survival as Mozambique rebuilds from deadly cyclones

This young activist explains how to change the world in 3 steps

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s