The British Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, has anticipated a new era of "effective cooperation" with the European Union at the time of ratifying the so-called "Windsor Agreement" together with the vice president of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic.
The final agreement comes after overwhelming support in the House of Commons this week (by 515 votes in favor and 29 against) and three weeks after the announcement made by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen.
After more than a year of negotiations to retouch the controversial Irish Protocol, the "thorn in the ass" of Brexit, James Cleverly highlighted "the positive spirit" in the final stretch to eliminate friction in the internal trade of the United Kingdom.
"What we have achieved is something that protects the EU's single market, that protects the Kingdom's internal market and, perhaps most importantly, that protects the most important elements of the Good Friday Peace Agreement," Cleverly said.
"From now on, businesses in Northern Ireland will be able to operate with greater certainty and foresight," said Maros Sefcovic, implicitly acknowledging the obstacles that existed in the Irish Protocol.
The new "Windsor Agreement" allows the creation of a "green lane" for goods from Great Britain destined for Northern Ireland, with the elimination of customs formalities, unlike the "red lane" for products destined for the Republic of Ireland.
The agreement allows the creation of a mechanism, the "Stormont Brake", so that the local Assembly can block the community legislation that continues to apply in its territory. The text grants a role of arbitration to local courts, although it ultimately refers to the Court of Justice of the EU.
"This agreement cannot be renegotiated," warned the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris, who acknowledged that the Conservative Party has to recap after the vote in the House of Commons, approved with the support of the opposition Labor party and despite the vote against by some twenty hard-wing "Tory" deputies (including former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and former "Premier" Liz Truss).
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) also voted against the agreement and maintains its position of refusing to form a unity government with Sinn Féin, the first political force in Northern Ireland since their victory in local elections ten months ago.
Unionist MP Ian Paisley Jr. strongly criticized the new agreement, claiming that it is "a simple rewrite of the Ireland Protocol", that many products coming from Great Britain will still have to undergo "customs paperwork" and that Belfast is still trapped "in the legislative orbit of Brussels".
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