Here's what the latest Brexit deal would mean for Northern Ireland
Brexit, am I right?
Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker have jointly announced an agreement on a new Brexit deal despite the fact the DUP have said they won’t back the new agreement.
Negotiations concluded late on Thursday morning as the pressure built for legal text to be ready to be presented to EU leaders at today’s summit.
It’s important to note that while this deal has been agreed between Boris Johnson’s government and EU negotiators, it still has to pass a vote in a House of Commons where the Tory party doesn’t have a majority.
In a press conference on Thursday morning, EU negotiator Michel Barnier stated there are four main elements to the part of the Brexit deal which will affect Northern Ireland.
Firstly, Northern Ireland will remain aligned to a limited set of EU rules, notably relating goods, which meaning goods will be checked on entry to the island, and not across a border on the island of Ireland. The UK will be responsible for applying the EU customs code.
Secondly, Northern Ireland will remain in the UK's customs territory, and will retain the benefits of any future UK trade policy. But it will also remain an entry point into the EU single market.
The UK authorities can apply UK tariffs on products coming from a third country so long as those goods entering Northern Ireland are not at risk of entering the Single Market. For goods at risk of entering the Single Market, the EU will apply the EU’s tariffs.
Thirdly, Barnier mentioned the subject of VAT, which was thought to be one of the main sticking points during negations.
"We have maintained the integrity of the single market but also satisfied the UK's legitimate wishes," Barnier said without going into detail.
And finally, four years after the end of the transition period and the enforcement of the protocol, the members of the Northern Ireland assembly would vote, on the basis of a simple majority, for the arrangement to continue for another four years.