Northern Ireland Protocol: The Windsor Framework

6 March 2023

The Windsor Framework aims to defuse tensions between the UK and the European Union (EU) over the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, by allowing a low-friction green lane for goods shipped from Great Britain that terminate in Northern Ireland, and a red lane for goods at risk of being placed on the EU Single Market. 

While goods landed in Northern Ireland that are not at risk of being placed on the EU Single Market benefit from trade facilitation, those produced in Northern Ireland that are at risk remain subject to EU laws, which must be aligned by the UK Parliament or the Assembly, as they change.

Whether the unionists agree to restoring power-sharing with the nationalists in the Assembly under the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement depends on their acceptance that Northern Ireland will remain in the EU Single Market, to preserve seamless trade across the land border with the Republic of Ireland/EU.

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