British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet minister and Brexit talks chief Michael Gove announced Tuesday that an “agreement in principle” had been reached with the European Union “on all issues, in particular with regard to the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland” following Withdrawal Agreement talks.
European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic confirmed that the agreement which had been reached in talks held Monday would enable the agreement, including its Northern Ireland Protocol, to be up and running January 1.
In a press release published on the UK government’s website, the cabinet clarified that an agreement in principle “has been found in the following areas, amongst others: Border Control Posts/Entry Points specifically for checks on animals, plants and derived products, export declarations, the supply of medicines, the supply of chilled meats, and other food products to supermarkets, and a clarification on the application of State aid under the terms of the Protocol.”
The UK and the EU also agreed to address “practical arrangements regarding the EU’s presence in Northern Ireland when UK authorities implement checks and controls under the Protocol” related to checks and controls related to the movement of goods, agricultural and fishing subsidies exemptions, and the drawing up of a list of people to head the arbitration panel for a dispute settlement mechanism expected to start operations in 2021.
“This agreement in principle and the resulting draft texts will now be subject to respective internal procedures in the EU and in the UK. Once this is done, a fifth regular meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee will be convened to formally adopt them. This will take place in the coming days and before the end of the year,” the release says.