On February 27, British prime minister Rishi Sunak and EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen signed the Windsor Framework, which now must be approved by the British parliament and Northern Ireland’s parties.
The Windsor Framework replaces the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol. Although that document strengthened trade relations between Ireland and Northern Ireland, it weakened trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The new agreement should now simplify the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
The new agreement annuls a great deal of the EU law that has long applied in Northern Ireland, although EU REACH continues in force. For goods covered by REACH, the registration process for companies spelled out in REACH still apply if they wish to bring goods from the UK to the market in Northern Ireland.
UK REACH, which differs from the EU legal system in key areas, has been in force in the internal market of the United Kingdom since January 2021.
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