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Statement by Tánaiste on agreement reached today between EU and UK, ‘the Windsor Framework’

Statement by Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin TD, on agreement reached today between EU and UK, ‘the Windsor Framework’

Today’s announcement by European Commission President von der Leyen and UK Prime Minister Sunak that the EU and UK have agreed a new way forward on the Protocol is very welcome.

This new agreement, the ‘Windsor Framework’ is the result of genuine engagement, and of the EU and UK working together and listening to the concerns raised by elected representatives, citizens and business in Northern Ireland.

From the outset, we have always said that the only sustainable outcome is one based on jointly agreed solutions.

I heard first-hand the concerns of many unionists. I believe they will see in this a genuine response to their genuine concerns.

This new Framework will, for example, ensure that the same food will be available on supermarket shelves in Northern Ireland as in the rest of the UK. Medicines will also be available to people in Northern Ireland at the same time and under the same conditions as the rest of the UK.

Working together the EU and the UK have ensured that Northern Ireland benefits by having unique access to both the EU single market and the UK’s internal market. The consensus reached today between the EU and the UK will provide the certainty and stability that Northern Ireland needs in order to move forward.

The focus can now turn to getting the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement up and running, across all three strands. I know from my many engagements with the people in Northern Ireland that they wish to see an Executive formed without delay.

I appreciate that some time may be needed to consider the detail of the deal, but I would urge political leaders in Northern Ireland to act quickly, to put in place institutions than can respond directly to the needs of the people of Northern Ireland. People in Northern Ireland have been clear that they wish to see an Executive formed.

I would like to acknowledge the sustained personal commitment of Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and Commission President von der Leyen as well as all EU member states who have worked intensively and creatively to find solutions to these complex and challenging issues. The support of all our international partners throughout this process should also be acknowledged.

I share the hope that today’s announcement allows the EU and the UK to open a new chapter in their relationship. The EU and the UK are natural partners in addressing the global challenges we face, whether supporting Ukraine or addressing climate change. It is in Ireland’s interests that the EU and the UK have a positive, forward-looking relationship.

Today’s agreement also provides an opportunity for an improved British-Irish partnership, which has been so vital for peace and prosperity on these islands.


Press Office

27 February 2023

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