We will make no comment here on the matter of Brexit and its advantages or disadvantages, but what we would like to do is share information on how the proposed Windsor Deal, or Windsor Framework or Windsor Agreement whatever you wish to call it, will work in practice.
Improving Trading Relations
The deal has been brokered between the UK government and the EU in an attempt to improve trading between Northern Ireland and the rest of Great Britain and make it more friction-less. Here are the major changes as copied from an article on the BBC News website:
“At the heart of this deal is the concept of green lanes and red lanes.
“British goods which are staying in Northern Ireland will use the green lane at Northern Ireland ports, meaning they face minimal paperwork and no routine physical checks.
“Goods which are due to travel into Ireland will use the red lane, meaning they face customs processes and other checks at Northern Ireland ports.
“To use the green lane businesses will need to register as a trusted trader under the new United Kingdom Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS).
“Supermarkets and other large businesses that are members of an existing scheme will be automatically moved onto UKIMS.
“A wider range of business will also qualify for UKIMS, including those based in Great Britain and which have no physical premises in Northern Ireland.
“For most businesses in Northern Ireland the physical checking of goods has not been the major impact of the protocol – it has been the added bureaucracy.
“The government says the new deal addresses that.
“For example businesses moving goods through the green lane will no longer have to provide a “supplementary declaration” – a detailed form which must be completed after goods have arrived from Great Britain.”
Easier To Move Food Using The Green Lane
On the subject of food moving across, the article goes on to say that:
“Traders moving food by using the green lane will only need to complete a single certificate for each lorry movement rather than multiple certificates for each load.
“Identity checks – a visual inspection of the seals on lorry trailers – will be phased down from 100% today to just 5% by 2025.
“Physical checks on green lane loads will no longer be routine and only be carried out when it is suspected the system is being abused.
“The flipside of this is the introduction of “Not for EU” labels on food products sold in Northern Ireland.
“From October this year prepacked meat and fresh milk have to be individually labelled in that way, with labelling of other goods being rolled out by July 2025.
“The government says it will provide financial support to help businesses with the labelling change.
“The government also appears to have committed to retaining the Trader Support Service, which helps businesses with their trade paperwork.”
There is more information which you can glean direct from the BBC website. The UK government is hoping that this deal will be enough to get the Stormont Executive around the table again for the first time for many months.