October 17, 2019

Brexit: EU and UK negotiators agree on new text (update) Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and Political Declaration revised

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker just confirmed in a letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, that the EU-UK negotiators had reached an agreement on a revised Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland (part of the Withdrawal Agreement) and on a revised Political Declaration.

President Juncker has recommended that the EU Heads of State/Government endorse the revised Withdrawal Agreement at its forthcoming European Council meeting that will be held today and tomorrow. Despite this new agreement there is absolutely no guarantee that this revised agreement will pass the UK's House of Commons in its extraordinary session this Saturday. There is not only strong opposition from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, but also from coalition party Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) that refuses to give its backing to the revised Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.


In the meantime, the European Commission has published the revised test of the Political Declaration. With regard to part II of this Declaration i.e. "Economic Partnership", the new revised text now refers to "Free Trade Agreement", while the previous text more ambitiously referred to "a trading relationship on goods that is as close as possible". Due to the revised Protocol text on Ireland/Northern Ireland all the previous references to the "backstop" have been removed from this Declaration.

MVO needs to study the details of the revised Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, but EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said at today's press conference that under the new deal Northern Ireland would "benefit from the UK's future trade policy" but that "Northern Ireland will also remain an entry point into our Single Market". 





Last modified: October 17, 2019