We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Northern Ireland

Windsor Framework gets formal sign-off after success in House of Commons vote

The new post-Brexit deal for Northern Ireland was approved at an official meeting in London.

THE NEW POST-BREXIT deal for Northern Ireland has been formally signed off on at a meeting in London amid hopes for better UK-EU relations.

European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly chaired meeting to formally adopt the new arrangements for Northern Ireland after the UK Government won MPs’ backing for the Windsor Framework earlier this week.

The vote by MPs in favour of regulations to implement the Stormont brake, a key part of the Windsor agreement, came despite former prime ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss joining the Democratic Unionist Party and hardline Brexit-backing Tory MPs in voting against the deal.

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson and his party continue to oppose the deal with no sign of yet being willing to return to powersharing.

The formal sign-off, which is understood to have happened mid-morning, comes as Jeffrey Donaldson’s party continues to oppose the deal brokered by the Government, with no sign of the DUP yet being willing to return to powersharing.

The UK’s Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris warned the DUP that there was no prospect of renegotiating the deal ahead of today’s meeting, which comes after Brussels also formally agreed to the key parts of the Windsor Framework at an EU Council meeting.

The formal sign-off happened at a meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee meeting, with Šefčovič and Cleverly also attending a meeting of the partnership council – another of the implementation bodies under the Brexit deal.

“By formally approving the Windsor Framework, we are delivering on our commitment to provide stability and certainty for Northern Ireland,” Cleverly said.

He said the the framework is “the best deal for Northern Ireland” and for “safeguarding its place in the union” and protecting the Good Friday Agreement.

“I look forward to further effective co-operation with the EU on key issues, such as security and energy.”

Tánaiste Micheál Martin has welcomed the signing of the deal. 

“Today’s endorsement of the Windsor Framework should provide momentum towards early restoration of all institutions of the Good Friday Agreement for the benefit of the people in Northern Ireland,” he said on Twitter.

The UK hopes that the new deal on the protocol can mark a step towards British participation in the EU’s €100 billion Horizon programme, with science and research likely to feature in official discussions between the pair.

Šefčovič and Cleverly were also expected to discuss a recent agreement between the the EU, Ireland and the UK on Peace Plus, the cross-border peace funding programme.

The continuing stand-off over Stormont suggests the prospects for a return to powersharing at Stormont in time for the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement mext month remain bleak.

The executive and the Assembly have been suspended since the DUP walked out last year in protest at the way the Northern Ireland Protocol negotiated by Boris Johnson was operating.

Press Association
Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel