The UK Parliament has overwhelmingly approved an updated version of the Northern Ireland Trade Protocol, which sets out certain trade agreements between the EU and the UK. At the end of February, the EU and the UK already reached an agreement on the renewed package of agreements, but the House of Commons still had to agree.
Simultaneously with an interrogation of former Prime Minister Johnson, the House of Commons bent over the updated protocol, which is called the Windsor Framework. Because of the vote, the interrogation in the Partygate scandal surrounding Johnson was briefly shut down.
It is agreed that two flows of goods will be rigged. Goods that have Northern Ireland as their final destination no longer have to go through time-consuming administrative checks. For goods bound for Ireland from the UK, customs control in Northern Ireland remains intact.
The old Northern Ireland protocol was part of the Brexit and was agreed at the time under the responsibility of Johnson. It included, in short, a series of trade agreements around EU member state Ireland and Northern Ireland. For example, it was agreed that Northern Ireland would remain part of the UK after Brexit, but that it would partly continue to follow the EU’s trade rules. The border on the Irish island could thus remain open.
Goods that were supposed to go to the Irish Republic passed through customs control in Northern Ireland. In practice, Northern Ireland was therefore burdened with a lot of paperwork. In Northern Irish politics, the issue was also sensitive. In London and Belfast, the package led to much discontent. The UK and the EU therefore entered into negotiations again.