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S&Ds lead overwhelming support for Windsor Framework as a new chapter in EU-UK relations

Date

15 Mar 2023

Sections

Global Europe

Today, a huge majority in the European Parliament welcomed the so-called Windsor Framework as a new joint understanding that allows more flexible and more effective implementation of the trading arrangements for goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain, so that both the EU’s Single Market and the Good Friday Agreement can be fully safeguarded.

In Tuesday’s plenary debate, MEPs were hopeful that a new chapter in EU-UK relations based on trust and cooperation is on the horizon. In terms of protecting the EU’s Single Market, the Windsor Framework provides new customs data sharing arrangements and introduces a green lane for goods originating from Great Britain intended only for final consumption in Northern Ireland’s market and a red lane, with border checks, for goods at risk of entering the EU’s single market.

The report on the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, presented by S&D Rapporteur, Pedro Silva Pereira, was approved with 537 votes in favour, 43 against and 38 abstentions. The report also underlines the top priority of citizens’ rights for the European Parliament, welcoming the fact that 3,4 million European citizens got their residence rights in the UK recognised,  but noting that by late last year, 39% of applicants to the UK’s settled status scheme had still not been granted permanent settled status.

S&D MEP Pedro Silva Pereira, EP rapporteur for the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, said:

“It has been almost 7 years since the referendum and almost 3 years since entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement. While it has not always been an easy or pleasant path to get here, we are hopeful that the Windsor Framework lays the foundations for the building blocks of a new relationship with the UK.

“The Northern Ireland Protocol was the agreed solution to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland, safeguarding the Good Friday Agreement, while protecting the integrity of the single market. With better sharing of customs data and a more flexible, but also more effective system of customs checks with green and red lanes according to the final destination of goods entering Northern Ireland, the original aims of the Protocol are preserved. We hope that power-sharing returns to Northern Ireland as soon as possible so that we can all celebrate properly the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

“Since day one in this process, we have made protecting citizens’ rights a top priority.  In the UK’s settlement scheme, it is good news that just over half of the 7 million applicants have received permanent settled status. However, there is room for improvement, with around 2,9 million people still only granted pre-settled status. The European Parliament will continue to monitor this scheme so that the rights of all those that fulfil the requirements are guaranteed.”

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