Britain and the EU clinched a deal on Monday to settle their toxic dispute over Northern Ireland trading rules in a turning point after years of post-Brexit tensions. Rishi Sunak, UK prime minister, and Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission president, sealed the agreement in the shadow of Windsor Castle, with both talking of a “new chapter” in relations.
Sunak and von der Leyen hope the deal to smooth trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK will end years of grim post-Brexit ties between London and Brussels.
“We have made a decisive breakthrough,” Sunak said at a press conference with von der Leyen, as the two hailed an agreement to reform the so-called Northern Ireland protocol, dubbed “the Windsor framework”.
The protocol was established to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland. But it is hated by Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party because it created a trade barrier for goods traveling from Great Britain into the region, which remains part of the EU’s single market for goods.
Source: Financial Times