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Sophie Cameron

Features and Opinion Editor, Solicitors Journal

Committee issues call for evidence on the Windsor Framework

Committee issues call for evidence on the Windsor Framework


Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Sub-Committee launches new inquiry

The House of Lords European Affairs Sub-Committee on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland launched a new inquiry and a call for evidence on 17 March, in order to assess the economic, constitutional, legal and political implications of the Windsor Framework.

The proposed legal agreement between the UK government and the European Union, otherwise known as the Windsor Framework, which was made public on 27 February, aims to address the issues around the movement of goods between the EU single market and the UK in the current Northern Ireland Protocol, in order to provide certainty to citizens and businesses in Northern Ireland.

Appointed in April 2021, the Sub-Committee on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland is tasked with considering all matters related to the Protocol, including scrutinising EU legislation applying to Northern Ireland under the Protocol, and the Protocol’s overall socio-economic and political impact on Northern Ireland.

The call for evidence welcomes responses on any issues relevant to the inquiry, but in particular seeks views in response to a list of 21 questions, which cover general reactions to the Windsor Framework; customs procedures and the movement of goods; agrifood; parcels; VAT and excise; medicines; plants, seeds, machinery and trees; subsidy control/state aid; the movement of pets; veterinary medicines; regulatory divergence; the application of EU rules in Northern Ireland; the democratic deficit and the ‘Stormont Brake’; new structures for UK-EU cooperation; engagement with Northern Ireland stakeholders; the governance of the framework, including arbitration and the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union; and safeguards.

More specifically, the Committee is keen to understand stakeholders’ views on to what extent the Windsor Framework will protect both Northern Ireland’s integral place in the United Kingdom’s internal market and its unique access to the EU single market; and in the context of the UK government’s reference to the removal of 1,700 pages of EU law, what the Windsor Framework’s impact might be on the scale of the application of EU law to Northern Ireland.

Written submissions to the call for evidence must be submitted by 2 May 2023.