Published: Wed, 14 June 2023
Seán Kelly MEP co-signed updated EU trade laws to implement the Windsor Framework agreement on post-Brexit trading arrangements, alongside European Parliament President, Roberta Metsola and the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jessika Roswall at the European Parliament, Strasbourg this week. The new rules, which will ensure Northern Irish manufacturers will not be charged extra tariffs on steel imports from Great Britain, is one of three pieces of new EU legislation needed to put the Windsor Framework into practice. Other legislation adopted update internal rules on medicines and Sanitary & Phytosanitary (SPS) goods in line with the overall agreement.
The Ireland South MEP led the negotiation of this proposed Regulation, which relates to Tariff-Rate Quotas, through the Parliament. The file was adopted, with the approval of 617 MEPs, in May. Following the official signing today, the proposed Act is now law.
“I welcome the overwhelming support of my fellow MEPs for this law. There is a shared willingness amongst MEPs to ensure the conditions are right for the swift implementation of the Windsor Framework agreement. Our common objective is to support stability and prosperity in Northern Ireland,” MEP Kelly said.
Post-Brexit trading arrangements remain a point of contention in Northern Ireland, where the Democratic Unionist Party has refused to re-enter the power-sharing Executive, as the second-largest party, until they feel their concerns regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol, and now the Windsor Framework, have been addressed.
“The Windsor Framework, which was announced in February, was a positive development in the EU-UK and Anglo-Irish relationship. It answered many of the concerns raised by business and stakeholders, and will significantly reduce checks and paperwork for goods travelling into Northern Ireland. It also provides avenues for Northern Irish stakeholders, and politicians to have their voices heard in relation to EU laws and regulations. I hope that all political groups in Northern Ireland can get behind the agreement, that we can move past the current stalemate and that power-sharing can be restored. Times are tough, and people in Northern Ireland deserve a government that can effectively response to their everyday concerns,” Kelly added.
Once the EU receives appropriate written guarantees from the UK regarding the agreed safeguards on customs, SPS and medicines, the provisions of the Windsor Framework will gradually begin to apply.
Seán Kelly MEP is pictured at the signing of the Regulation on Tariff Rate Quotas into EU law. Pictured (L-R): Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jessika Roswall, Chair of Parliament’s trade committee, Bernd Lange, Seán Kelly MEP, and European Parliament President, Roberta Metsola.