Published: Thu, 27 April 2023
27 April 2023
Seán Kelly MEP has welcomed this morning’s European Parliament’s Trade Committee vote in favour of changes to EU rules required in order to implement the recently agreed Windsor Framework between the EU and the UK. As lead negotiator on the file, MEP Kelly said he is “pleased with the overwhelming support my colleagues on the trade committee have given to this legislative proposal”. The file, 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 is needed to update EU rules on medicines and Sanitary & Phytosanitary (SPS) goods.
Kelly’s report was adopted unanimously by the Trade Committee in the EU Parliament on Thursday, with 36 votes in favour, no votes against and no abstentions.
“The result of today’s vote points to the willingness of MEPs from all over Europe to implemented the Framework and to normalise relation with our close neighbour, the UK,” said Kelly, who also noted that relations with the UK have been in a much better place since a political agreement was reached on the Windsor Framework.
“While technical in nature, this trade legislation is another welcome example of the way in which the Windsor Framework can boost economic activity and can make life easier for business in Northern Ireland.” Kelly added. The EU Parliament is now expected to give its approval by vote on the new rules during its May plenary session.
Commenting on the Windsor Framework, and the prospect of a return to devolved government in Northern Ireland, Kelly said, “Earlier this month, political leaders met in Belfast to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. We heard a lot about the perseverance and spirit of compromise that was needed to pull the historical agreement together. I hope that today’s politicians in Northern Ireland can tap into that same political courage in order to get the Windsor Framework over the line, and get the Northern Ireland Executive back up and running.”
Later this year, the Ireland South MEP will present a report to the European Parliament on how the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which governs cooperation on areas such as trade in goods, energy, transport and fisheries, is working for EU citizens and business.