Brexit: agreed revised texts on UK withdrawal from the EU

The UK Government and the EU have agreed revised texts at negotiators’ level for the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland included in the Withdrawal Agreement and the consequential technical adaptations to Article 184 “Negotiations on the future relationship” and Article 185 “Entry into force and application” of the Withdrawal Agreement. The revised texts are intended to replace the corresponding provisions included in the last version of the Withdrawal Agreement published in the Official Journal and are subject to legal revision. They relate to:

  • objectives;
  • rights of individuals;
  • the UK and Ireland Common Travel Area;
  • customs territory of the United Kingdom (which the text declares to include Northern Ireland);
  • customs, movement of goods;
  • protection of the UK internal market;
  • technical regulations, assessments, registrations, certificates, approvals and authorisations;
  • VAT and excise;
  • the single electricity market;
  • state aid;
  • other areas of North-South cooperation;
  • implementation, application, supervision and enforcement;
  • common provisions;
  • the work of the Specialised Committee on issues related to the implementation of the Protocol;
  • a joint consultative working group on the implementation of the Protocol;
  • safeguards; and
  • protection of financial interests; democratic consent in Northern Ireland, under which “Within 2 months before the end of both the initial period and any subsequent period, the United Kingdom shall provide the opportunity for democratic consent in Northern Ireland to the continued application of Articles 5 to 10”.

Comment: All that is now required from the UK side is for the Government to get the approval of Parliament for the revised Agreement. With a Government majority of about minus forty, however, the outcome is anyone’s guess.

 

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