Skip to Content

Coffee House

The key changes in Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal

17 October 2019

2:44 PM

17 October 2019

2:44 PM

Boris Johnson has agreed a new Brexit deal with the EU. Here are the key differences between the old and new protocols for Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Strikethrough = text removed; Red = new text – Green = moved to a different place

ARTICLE 1

Objectives and relationship to subsequent agreement

  1. This Protocol is without prejudice to the provisions of the 1998 Agreement regarding the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and the principle of consent, which provides that any change in that status can only be made with the consent of a majority of its people.
  2. This Protocol respects the essential State functions and territorial integrity of the United Kingdom.
  3. This Protocol sets out arrangements necessary to address the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland, maintain the necessary conditions for continued North-South cooperation, avoid a hard border and protect the 1998 Agreement in all its dimensions.
  4. The objective of the Withdrawal Agreement is not to establish a permanent relationship between the Union and the United Kingdom. The provisions of this Protocol are therefore intended to apply only temporarily, taking into account the commitments of the Parties set out in Article 2(1). The provisions of this Protocol shall apply unless and until they are superseded, in whole or in part, by a subsequent agreement

 

ARTICLE 2

Subsequent agreement

  1. The Union and the United Kingdom shall use their best endeavours to conclude, by 31 December 2020, an agreement which supersedes this Protocol in whole or in part.
  2. Any subsequent agreement between the Union and the United Kingdom shall indicate the parts of this Protocol which it supersedes. Once a subsequent agreement between the Union and the United Kingdom becomes applicable after the entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement, this Protocol shall then, from the date of application of such subsequent agreement and in accordance with the provisions of that agreement setting out the effect of that agreement on this Protocol, not apply or shall cease to apply, as the case may be, in whole or in part, notwithstanding Article 20.

ARTICLE 3

Extension of the transition period

The United Kingdom, having had regard to progress made towards conclusion of the agreement referred to in Articles 1(4) and 2(1) of this Protocol, may at any time before 1 July 2020 request the extension of the transition period referred to in Article 126 of the Withdrawal Agreement. If the United Kingdom makes such a request, the transition period may be extended in accordance with Article 132 of the Withdrawal Agreement.

ARTICLE 2

Rights of individuals

  1. The United Kingdom shall ensure that no diminution of rights, safeguards and equality of opportunity as set out in that part of the 1998 Agreement entitled Rights, Safeguards and Equality of Opportunity results from its withdrawal from the Union, including in the area of protection against discrimination as enshrined in the provisions of Union law listed in Annex 1 to this Protocol, and shall implement this paragraph through dedicated mechanisms.
  2. The United Kingdom shall continue to facilitate the related work of the institutions and bodies set up pursuant to the 1998 Agreement, including the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and the Joint Committee of representatives of the Human Rights Commissions of Northern Ireland and Ireland, in upholding human rights and equality standards.

ARTICLE 3

Common Travel Area

  1. The United Kingdom and Ireland may continue to make arrangements between themselves relating to the movement of persons between their territories (the “Common Travel Area”), while fully respecting the rights of natural persons conferred by Union law.
  2. The United Kingdom shall ensure that the Common Travel Area and the associated rights and privileges can continue to apply without affecting the obligations of Ireland under Union law, in particular with respect to free movement to, from and within Ireland for Union citizens and their family members, irrespective of their nationality.

ARTICLE 6

Single customs territory, movement of goods

  1. Until the future relationship becomes applicable, a single customs territory between the Union and the United Kingdom shall be established (“the single customs territory”). Accordingly, Northern Ireland is in the same customs territory as Great Britain.

The single customs territory shall comprise:

(a) the customs territory of the Union defined in Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013; and

(b) the customs territory of the United Kingdom.

The rules set out in Annex 2 to this Protocol shall apply in respect of all trade in goods between the territories referred to in the second subparagraph, as well as, where so provided, between the single customs territory and third countries. With a view to ensuring the maintenance of the level playing field conditions required for the proper functioning of this paragraph, the provisions set out in Annex 4 to this Protocol shall apply. Where appropriate, the Joint Committee may modify Annex 4 in order to lay down higher standards for these level playing field conditions. 

The Joint Committee shall adopt before 1 July 2020 the detailed rules relating to trade in goods between the two parts of the single customs territory for the implementation of this paragraph. In the absence of such a decision adopted before 1 July 2020, Annex 3 shall apply.

By derogation from the third subparagraph, fishery and aquaculture products, as set out in Annex I to Regulation (EU) 1379/2013 (“fishery and aquaculture products”), shall not be covered by the rules set out in Annexes 2 and 4, as well as the rules referred to in the fourth subparagraph, unless an agreement on access to waters and fishing opportunities is applicable between the Union and the United Kingdom. In accordance with Article 184 of the Withdrawal Agreement, the Union and the United Kingdom shall use their best endeavours to conclude and ratify such an agreement before 1 July 2020.

The Joint Committee may adopt decisions amending Annex 3 to this Protocol, where such

amendments are necessary for the proper functioning of this paragraph. Such decisions may not amend the essential elements of this Protocol or the Withdrawal Agreement.

The second subparagraph of this paragraph is without prejudice to the specific arrangements set out in the Protocol relating to the Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Cyprus.

  1. Legislation as defined in point (2) of Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council1 shall apply to and in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland (not including the territorial waters of the United Kingdom). However, the Joint Committee shall establish the conditions, including in quantitative terms, under which certain fishery and aquaculture products brought into the customs territory of the Union defined in Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 by vessels flying the flag of the United Kingdom and registered in Northern Ireland are exempted from duties.

The provisions of Union law listed in Annex 5 to this Protocol shall also apply, under the conditions set out therein, to and in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland. Articles 30 and 110 TFEU shall apply to and in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland.

Quantitative restrictions on exports and imports shall be prohibited between the Union and Northern Ireland.

Article 4

Customs territory of the United Kingdom

Northern Ireland is part of the customs territory of the United Kingdom.

Accordingly, nothing in this Protocol shall prevent the United Kingdom from including Northern Ireland in the territorial scope of any agreements it may conclude with third countries, provided that those agreements do not prejudice the application of this Protocol.

In particular, nothing in this Protocol shall prevent the United Kingdom from concluding agreements with a third country that grant goods produced in Northern Ireland preferential access to that country’s market on the same terms as goods produced in other parts of the United Kingdom.

Nothing in this Protocol shall prevent the United Kingdom from including Northern Ireland in the territorial scope of its Schedules of Concessions annexed to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994.

Article 5

Customs, movement of goods

  1. No customs duties shall be payable for a good brought into Northern Ireland from another part of the United Kingdom by direct transport, notwithstanding paragraph 3, unless that good is at risk of subsequently being moved into the Union, whether by itself or forming part of another good following processing.

The customs duties in respect of a good being moved by direct transport to Northern Ireland other than from the Union or from another part of the United Kingdom shall be the duties applicable in the United Kingdom, notwithstanding paragraph 3, unless that good is at risk of subsequently being moved into the Union, whether by itself or forming part of another good following processing.

No duties shall be payable by, as relief shall be granted to, residents of the United Kingdom for personal property, as defined in point (c) of Article 2(1) of Council Regulation 1186/20091 , brought into Northern Ireland from another part of the United Kingdom.

  1. For the purposes of the first and second subparagraph of paragraph 1, a good brought into Northern Ireland from outside the Union shall be considered to be at risk of subsequently being moved into the Union unless it is established that that good:

(a) will not be subject to commercial processing in Northern Ireland;

and (b) fulfils the criteria established by the Joint Committee in accordance with the fourth subparagraph of this paragraph.

For the purposes of this paragraph, ‘processing’ means any alteration of goods, any transformation of goods in any way, or any subjecting of goods to operations other than for the purpose of preserving them in good condition or for adding or affixing marks, labels, seals or any other documentation to ensure compliance with any specific requirements.

Before the end of the transition period, the Joint Committee shall by decision establish the conditions under which processing is to be considered not to fall within point (a) of the first subparagraph, taking into account in particular the nature, scale and result of the processing.

 Before the end of the transition period, the Joint Committee shall by decision establish the criteria for considering that a good brought into Northern Ireland from outside the Union is not at risk of subsequently being moved into the Union. The Joint Committee shall take into consideration, inter alia:

(a) the final destination and use of the good;

(b) the nature and value of the good;

(c) the nature of the movement;

and (d) the incentive for undeclared onward-movement into the Union, in particular incentives resulting from the duties payable pursuant to paragraph 1.

The Joint Committee may amend at any time its decisions adopted pursuant to this paragraph.

In taking any decision pursuant to this paragraph, the Joint Committee shall have regard to the specific circumstances in Northern Ireland.

  1. Legislation as defined in point (2) of Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 shall apply to and in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland (not including the territorial waters of the United Kingdom). However, the Joint Committee shall establish the conditions, including in quantitative terms, under which certain fishery and aquaculture products, as set out in Annex I to Regulation (EU) 1379/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council2 , brought into the customs territory of the Union defined in Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 by vessels flying the flag of the United Kingdom and having their port of registration in Northern Ireland are exempted from duties.
  2. The provisions of Union law listed in Annex 2 to this Protocol shall also apply, under the conditions set out in that Annex, to and in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland.
  3. Articles 30 and 110 TFEU shall apply to and in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland. Quantitative restrictions on exports and imports shall be prohibited between the Union and Northern Ireland.
  4. Customs duties levied by the United Kingdom in accordance with paragraph 3 are not remitted to the Union. Subject to Article 10, the United Kingdom may in particular:

(a) reimburse duties levied pursuant to the provisions of Union law made applicable by paragraph 3 in respect of goods brought into Northern Ireland;

(b) provide for circumstances in which a customs debt which has arisen is to be waived in respect of goods brought into Northern Ireland;

(c) provide for circumstances in which customs duties are to be reimbursed in respect of goods that can be shown not to have entered the Union;

and (d) compensate undertakings to offset the impact of the application of paragraph 3.

In taking decisions under Article 10, the European Commission shall take the circumstances in Northern Ireland into account as appropriate.

  1. No duties shall be payable on consignments of negligible value, on consignments sent by one individual to another or on goods contained in travellers’ personal baggage, under the conditions set out in the legislation referred to in paragraph 3.

Article 6

Protection of the UK internal market

  1. Nothing in this Protocol shall prevent the United Kingdom from ensuring unfettered market access for goods moving from Northern Ireland to other parts of the United Kingdom’s internal market. Provisions of Union law made applicable by this Protocol which prohibit or restrict the exportation of goods shall only be applied to trade between Northern Ireland and other parts of the United Kingdom to the extent strictly required by any international obligations of the Union. The United Kingdom shall ensure full protection under international requirements and commitments that are relevant to the prohibitions and restrictions on the exportation of goods from the Union to third countries as set out in Union law.
  2. Having regard to Northern Ireland’s integral place in the United Kingdom’s internal market, the Union and the United Kingdom shall use their best endeavours to facilitate the trade between Northern Ireland and other parts of the United Kingdom, in accordance with applicable legislation and taking into account their respective regulatory regimes as well as the implementation thereof. The Joint Committee shall keep the application of this paragraph under constant review and shall adopt appropriate recommendations with a view to avoiding controls at the ports and airports of Northern Ireland to the extent possible.
  3. Nothing in this Protocol shall prevent a product originating from Northern Ireland from being presented as originating from the United Kingdom when placed on the market in Great Britain.
  4. Nothing in this Protocol shall affect the law of the United Kingdom regulating the placing on the market in other parts of the United Kingdom of goods from Northern Ireland that comply with or benefit from technical regulations, assessments, registrations, certificates, approvals or authorisations governed by provisions of Union law referred to in Annex 2 to this Protocol.

Article 7

Technical regulations, assessments, registrations, certificates, approvals and authorisations

  1. Without prejudice to the provisions of Union law referred to in Annex 2 to this Protocol, the lawfulness of placing goods on the market in Northern Ireland shall be governed by the law of the United Kingdom as well as, as regards goods imported from the Union, by Articles 34 and 36 TFEU.
  2. Where provisions of Union law made applicable by this Protocol provide for the indication of a Member State, including in abbreviated form, in markings, labelling, tags, or by any other means, the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland shall be indicated as ‘UK(NI)’ or ‘United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)’. Where provisions of Union law made applicable by this Protocol provide for the indication in the form of a numeric code, the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland shall be indicated with a distinguishable numeric code.
  3. By way of derogation from Article 15(1) of this Protocol and from Article 7 of the Withdrawal Agreement, in respect of the recognition in one Member State of technical regulations, assessments, registrations, certificates, approvals and authorisations issued or carried out by the authorities of another Member State, or by a body established in another Member State, references to Member States in provisions of Union law made applicable by this Protocol shall not be read as including the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland as regards technical regulations, assessments, registrations, certificates, approvals and authorisations issued or carried out by the authorities of the United Kingdom or by bodies established in the United Kingdom.

The first subparagraph shall not apply to registrations, certifications, approvals and authorisations of sites, installations or premises in Northern Ireland issued or carried out by competent authorities of the United Kingdom, where the registration, certification, approval or authorisation may require an inspection of the sites, installations or premises.

The first subparagraph shall not apply to veterinary certificates or official labels for plant reproductive material that are required by provisions of Union law made applicable by this Protocol.

The first subparagraph is without prejudice to the validity, in Northern Ireland, of assessments, registrations, certificates, approvals and authorisations issued or carried out, on the basis of provisions of Union law made applicable by this Protocol, by the competent authorities of the United Kingdom or by bodies established in the United Kingdom. Any conformity marking, logo or similar required by the provisions of Union law made applicable by this Protocol which is affixed by economic operators based on the assessment, registration, certificate, approval or authorisation issued by competent authorities of the United Kingdom or by bodies established in the United Kingdom shall be accompanied by the indication ‘UK(NI)’.

The United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland may not initiate objection, safeguard or arbitration procedures provided for in provisions of Union law made applicable by this Protocol to the extent that those procedures concern the technical regulations, standards, assessments, registrations, certificates, approvals and authorisations issued or carried out by competent authorities of the Member States or by bodies established in Member States.

The first subparagraph does not prevent the test and release by a qualified person in Northern Ireland of a batch of a medicinal product imported into or manufactured in Northern Ireland.

Article 8

VAT and excise

The provisions of Union law listed in Annex 3 to this Protocol concerning goods shall apply to and in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland.

In respect of Northern Ireland, the authorities of the United Kingdom shall be responsible for the application and the implementation of the provisions listed in Annex 3 to this Protocol, including the collection of VAT and excise duties. Under the conditions set out in those provisions, revenues resulting from transactions taxable in Northern Ireland shall not be remitted to the Union.

By way of derogation from the first paragraph, the United Kingdom may apply to supplies of goods taxable in Northern Ireland VAT exemptions and reduced rates that are applicable in Ireland in accordance with provisions listed in Annex 3 to this Protocol.

The Joint Committee shall regularly discuss the implementation of this Article, including as concerns the reductions and exemptions provided for in the provisions referred to in the first paragraph, and shall, where appropriate, adopt measures for its proper application, as necessary.

The Joint Committee may review the application of this Article, taking into account Northern Ireland’s integral place in the United Kingdom’s internal market, and may adopt appropriate measures as necessary.

ARTICLE 10

Agriculture and environment

The provisions of Union law listed in Annex 5 to this Protocol shall apply, under the conditions set out therein, to and in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland.

Article 9

Single electricity market

The provisions of Union law governing wholesale electricity markets listed in Annex 4 to this Protocol shall apply, under the conditions set out in that Annex, to and in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland.

Article 10

State aid

  1. The provisions of Union law listed in Annex 5 to this Protocol shall apply to the United Kingdom, including with regard to measures supporting the production of and trade in agricultural products in Northern Ireland, in respect of measures which affect that trade between Northern Ireland and the Union which is subject to this Protocol.
  2. Notwithstanding paragraph 1, the provisions of Union law referred to in that paragraph shall not apply with respect to measures taken by the United Kingdom authorities to support the production of and trade in agricultural products in Northern Ireland up to a determined maximum overall annual level of support, and provided that a determined minimum percentage of that exempted support complies with the provisions of Annex 2 to the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. The determination of the maximum exempted overall annual level of support and the minimum percentage shall be governed by the procedures set out in Annex 6.
  3. Where the European Commission examines information regarding a measure by the United Kingdom authorities that may constitute unlawful aid that is subject to paragraph 1, it shall ensure that the United Kingdom is kept fully and regularly informed of the progress and outcome of the examination of that measure.

The European Commission and the independent authority referred to in Article 9 of Annex 4 shall establish the administrative arrangements necessary to the proper implementation of this Article and Part Four of Annex 4 respectively, and keep those arrangements under review.

Article 11

Other areas of North-South cooperation

  1. Consistent with the arrangements set out in Articles 5 to 10, and in full respect of Union law, this Protocol shall be implemented and applied so as to maintain the necessary conditions for continued North-South cooperation, including in the areas of environment, health, agriculture, transport, education and tourism, as well as in the areas of energy, telecommunications, broadcasting, inland fisheries, justice and security, higher education and sport. In full respect of Union law, the United Kingdom and Ireland may continue to make new arrangements that build on the provisions of the 1998 Agreement in other areas of North-South cooperation on the island of Ireland.
  2. The Joint Committee shall keep under constant review the extent to which the implementation and application of this Protocol maintains the necessary conditions for North-South cooperation. The Joint Committee may make appropriate recommendations to the Union and the United Kingdom in this respect, including on a recommendation from the Specialised Committee.

Article 12

 Implementation, application, supervision and enforcement

  1. Without prejudice to paragraph 4, the authorities of the United Kingdom shall be responsible for implementing and applying the provisions of Union law made applicable by this Protocol to and in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland.
  2. Without prejudice to paragraph 4 of this Article, Union representatives shall have the right to be present during any activities of the authorities of the United Kingdom related to the implementation and application of provisions of Union law made applicable by this Protocol, as well as activities related to the implementation and application of Article 5, and the United Kingdom shall provide, upon request, all relevant information relating to such activities. The United Kingdom shall facilitate such presence of Union representatives and shall provide them with the information requested. Where the Union representative requests the authorities of the United Kingdom to carry out control measures in individual cases for duly stated reasons, the authorities of the United Kingdom shall carry out those control measures. The Union and the United Kingdom shall exchange information on the application of Article 5 (1) and (2) on a monthly basis.
  3. The practical working arrangements relating to the exercise of the rights of Union representatives referred to in paragraph 2 shall be determined by the Joint Committee, upon proposal from the Specialised Committee.
  4. As regards the second subparagraph of paragraph 2 of this Article, Article 5 and Articles 7 to 10, the institutions, bodies, offices, and agencies of the Union shall in relation to the United Kingdom and natural and legal persons residing or established in the territory of the United Kingdom have the powers conferred upon them by Union law. In particular, the Court of Justice of the European Union shall have the jurisdiction provided for in the Treaties in this respect. The second and third paragraphs of Article 267 TFEU shall apply to and in the United Kingdom in this respect.
  5. Acts of the institutions, bodies, offices, and agencies of the Union adopted in accordance with paragraph 4 shall produce in respect of and in the United Kingdom the same legal effects as those which they produce within the Union and its Member States.
  6. When representing or assisting a party in relation to administrative procedures arising from the exercise of the powers of the institutions, bodies, offices, and agencies of the Union referred to in paragraph 4, lawyers authorised to practise before the courts or tribunals of the United Kingdom shall in every respect be treated as lawyers authorised to practise before courts or tribunals of Member States who represent or assist a party in relation to such administrative procedures.
  7. In cases brought before the Court of Justice of the European Union pursuant to paragraph 4:

(a) the United Kingdom may participate in the proceedings before the Court of Justice of the European Union in the same way as a Member State;

(b) lawyers authorised to practise before the courts or tribunals of the United Kingdom may represent or assist a party before the Court of Justice of the European Union in such proceedings and shall in every respect be treated as lawyers authorised to practise before courts or tribunals of Member States representing or assisting a party before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Article 13

Common provisions

  1. For the purposes of this Protocol, any reference to the United Kingdom in the applicable provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement shall be read as referring to the United Kingdom or to the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland, as the case may be.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Protocol, any reference to the territory defined in Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 in the applicable provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement and of this Protocol, as well as in the provisions of Union law made applicable to and in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland by this Protocol, shall be read as including the part of the territory of the United Kingdom to which Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 applies by virtue of Article 5(3) of this Protocol.

Titles I and III of Part Three and Part Six of the Withdrawal Agreement shall apply without prejudice to the provisions of this Protocol.

  1. For the purposes of Article 6(1) of this Protocol:

– “third country” shall mean a country or territory which does not belong to the customs territories referred to in Article 6(1) of this Protocol;

– “part of the single customs territory” shall mean, on the one hand, the customs territory of the Union defined in Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 and, on the other hand, the United Kingdom customs territory.

  1. Notwithstanding Article 4(4) and (5) of the Withdrawal Agreement, the provisions of this Protocol referring to Union law or to concepts or provisions thereof shall in their implementation and application be interpreted in conformity with the relevant case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union.
  2. Notwithstanding Article 6(1) of the Withdrawal Agreement, and unless otherwise provided, where this Protocol makes reference to a Union act, that reference shall be read as referring to that Union act as amended or replaced.
  3. Where the Union adopts a new act that falls within the scope of this Protocol, but which neither amends nor replaces a Union act listed in the Annexes to this Protocol, the Union shall inform the United Kingdom of the adoption of that act in the Joint Committee. Upon the request of the Union or the United Kingdom, the Joint Committee shall hold an exchange of views on the implications of the newly adopted act for the proper functioning of this Protocol, within 6 weeks after the request.

As soon as reasonably practical after the Union has informed the United Kingdom in the Joint Committee, the Joint Committee shall either:

(a) adopt a decision adding the newly adopted act to the relevant Annex to this Protocol;

or (b) where an agreement on adding the newly adopted act to the relevant Annex to this Protocol cannot be reached, examine all further possibilities to maintain the good functioning of this Protocol and take any decision necessary to this effect.

If the Joint Committee has not taken a decision referred to in the second subparagraph within a reasonable time, the Union shall be entitled, after giving notice to the United Kingdom, to take appropriate remedial measures. Such measures shall take effect at the earliest 6 months after the Union informed the United Kingdom in accordance with the first subparagraph, but in no event shall such measures take effect before the date on which the newly adopted act is implemented in the Union.

  1. By way of derogation from paragraph 1 of this Article and from Article 7 of the Withdrawal Agreement, unless the Union considers that full or partial access by the United Kingdom or the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland, as the case may be, is strictly necessary to enable the United Kingdom to comply with its obligations under this Protocol, including where such access is necessary because access to the relevant information cannot be facilitated by the working group referred to in Article 15 of this Protocol or by any other practical means, in respect of access to any network, information system or database established on the basis of Union law, references to Member States and competent authorities of Member States in provisions of Union law made applicable by this Protocol shall not be read as including the United Kingdom or the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland, as the case may be.
  2. Authorities of the United Kingdom shall not act as leading authority for risk assessments, examinations, approvals and authorisation procedures provided for in Union law made applicable by this Protocol.
  3. Articles 346 and 347 TFEU shall apply to this Protocol as regards measures taken by a Member State or by the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland.
  4. Any subsequent agreement between the Union and the United Kingdom shall indicate the parts of this Protocol which it supersedes. Once a subsequent agreement between the Union and the United Kingdom becomes applicable after the entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement, this Protocol shall then, from the date of application of such subsequent agreement and in accordance with the provisions of that agreement setting out the effect of that agreement on this Protocol, not apply or shall cease to apply, as the case may be, in whole or in part, notwithstanding Article 20.

Article 14

Specialised Committee

The Committee on issues related to the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland established by Article 165 of the Withdrawal Agreement (‘Specialised Committee’) shall:

(a) facilitate the implementation and application of this Protocol;

(b) examine proposals concerning the implementation and application of this Protocol from the North-South Ministerial Council and North-South Implementation bodies set up under the 1998 Agreement;

(c) consider any matter of relevance to Article 2 of this Protocol brought to its attention by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, and the Joint Committee of representatives of the Human Rights Commissions of Northern Ireland and Ireland;

(d) discuss any point raised by the Union or the United Kingdom that is of relevance to this Protocol and gives rise to a difficulty;

and (e) make recommendations to the Joint Committee as regards the functioning of this Protocol.

Article 15

Joint consultative working group

  1. A joint consultative working group on the implementation of this Protocol (‘working group’) is hereby established. It shall serve as a forum for the exchange of information and mutual consultation.
  2. The working group shall be composed of representatives of the Union and the United Kingdom and shall carry out its functions under the supervision of the Specialised Committee, to which it shall report. The working group shall have no power to take binding decisions other than the power to adopt its own rules of procedure referred to in paragraph 6.
  3. Within the working group:

(a) the Union and the United Kingdom shall, in a timely manner, exchange information about planned, ongoing and final relevant implementation measures in relation to the Union acts listed in the Annexes to this Protocol;

(b) the Union shall inform the United Kingdom about planned Union acts within the scope of this Protocol, including Union acts that amend or replace the Union acts listed in the Annexes to this Protocol;

(c) the Union shall provide to the United Kingdom all information the Union considers relevant to allow the United Kingdom to fully comply with its obligations under the Protocol; and

(d) the United Kingdom shall provide to the Union all information that Member States are required to provide to one another or to the institutions, bodies, offices or agencies of the Union pursuant to the Union acts listed in the Annexes to this Protocol.

  1. The working group shall be co-chaired by the Union and the United Kingdom.
  2. The working group shall meet at least once a month, unless otherwise decided by the Union and the United Kingdom by mutual consent. Where necessary, the Union and the United Kingdom may exchange information referred to in points (c) and (d) of paragraph 3 between meetings.
  3. The working group shall adopt its own rules of procedure by mutual consent.
  4. The Union shall ensure that all views expressed by the United Kingdom in the working group and all information provided by the United Kingdom in the working group, including technical and scientific data, are communicated to the relevant institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union without undue delay.

Article 16

 Safeguards

  1. If the application of this Protocol leads to serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist, or to diversion of trade, the Union or the United Kingdom may unilaterally take appropriate safeguard measures. Such safeguard measures shall be restricted with regard to their scope and duration to what is strictly necessary in order to remedy the situation. Priority shall be given to such measures as will least disturb the functioning of this Protocol.
  2. If a safeguard measure taken by the Union or the United Kingdom, as the case may be, in accordance with paragraph 1 creates an imbalance between the rights and obligations under this Protocol, the Union or the United Kingdom, as the case may be, may take such proportionate rebalancing measures as are strictly necessary to remedy the imbalance. Priority shall be given to such measures as will least disturb the functioning of this Protocol.
  3. Safeguard and rebalancing measures taken in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be governed by the procedures set out in Annex 7 to this Protocol.

Article 17

 Protection of financial interests

The Union and the United Kingdom shall counter fraud and any other illegal activities affecting the financial interests of the Union or the financial interests of the United Kingdom.

ARTICLE 20 Review

 If at any time after the end of the transition period the Union or the United Kingdom considers that this Protocol is, in whole or in part, no longer necessary to achieve the objectives set out in Article 1(3) and should cease to apply, in whole or in part, it may notify the other party, setting out its reasons.

Within 6 months of such a notification, the Joint Committee shall meet at ministerial level to consider the notification, having regard to all of the objectives specified in Article 1. The Joint Committee may seek an opinion from institutions created by the 1998 Agreement.

Article 18

Democratic consent in Northern Ireland

  1. 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.
  2. For the purposes of paragraph 1, the United Kingdom shall seek democratic consent in Northern Ireland in a manner consistent with the 1998 Agreement. A decision expressing democratic consent shall be reached strictly in accordance with the unilateral declaration made by the United Kingdom on [DATE], including with respect to the roles of the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly.
  3. The United Kingdom shall notify the Union before the end of the relevant period referred to in paragraph 5 of the outcome of the process referred to in paragraph 1.
  4. Where the process referred to in paragraph 1 has been undertaken and a decision has been reached in accordance with paragraph 2, and the United Kingdom notifies the Union that the outcome of the process referred to in paragraph 1 is not a decision that the Articles of this Protocol referred to in that paragraph should continue to apply in Northern Ireland, then those Articles and other provisions of this Protocol, to the extent that those provisions depend on those Articles for their application, shall cease to apply 2 years after the end of the relevant period referred to in paragraph 5. In such a case the Joint Committee shall address recommendations to the Union and to the United Kingdom on the necessary measures, taking into account the obligations of the parties to the 1998 Agreement. Before doing so, the Joint Committee may seek an opinion from institutions created by the 1998 Agreement.
  5. For the purposes of this Article, the initial period is the period ending 4 years after the end of the transition period. Where the decision reached in a given period was on the basis of a majority of Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, present and voting, the subsequent period is the 4 year period following that period, for as long as Articles 5 to 10 continue to apply. Where the decision reached in a given period had cross-community support, the subsequent period is the 8-year period following that period, for as long as Articles 5 to 10 continue to apply.
  6. For the purposes of paragraph 5, cross-community support means:

(a) a majority of those Members of the Legislative Assembly present and voting, including a majority of the unionist and nationalist designations present and voting; or

(b) a weighted majority (60%) of Members of the Legislative Assembly present and voting, including at least 40% of each of the nationalist and unionist designations present and voting.

 


Show comments
Close