The Windsor Framework. A new way forward

Author (Corporate)
Publication Date February 2023
ISBN 978-1-5286-3937-8
Content Type , ,


Policy paper published by the Government of the United Kingdom (UK) setting out the details of the so-called Windsor Agreement, subject to a political agreement with the European Commission on 27 February 2023. The Framework seeks to overcome disagreements as regards the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Further information:

The substantive provisions of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland started to apply on 1 January 2021. However, its full implementation was subject to great controversy and discussion in the years that followed, particularly as the impact of those provisions on the relations between Northern Ireland (NI) and Great Britain (GB) became more visible. Following a long period of discussion and negotiations, the UK Government and the European Commission reached a common understanding aimed at facilitating the implementation of the Protocol and easing the tension between the two sides.

The Windsor Agreement constitutes a set of joint solutions aimed at addressing the practical challenges faced by citizens and businesses in Northern Ireland, thereby providing them with lasting certainty and predictability. The joint solutions cover, amongst other things, new arrangements on customs, agri-food, medicines, VAT and excise, as well as specific instruments designed to ensure that the voices of the people of Northern Ireland are better heard on specific issues particularly relevant to the communities there.

The political agreement sought to open a new chapter in the relations between the UK and the European Union (EU). The UK Government committed to stop the legislative procedure relating to the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, whereas the Commission agreed to drop existing infringement procedures connected to the implementation of the Protocol.

However, both sides were still required to translate the joint solutions of the Windsor Framework into legally binding instruments. On that same day, the European Commission published draft Regulations on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, medicinal products for human use, and tariff rate quotas (TRQs). On 22 March, the UK Parliament voted to endorse the political agreement reached with the European Union.

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Commentary and Analysis
France24, 27/02/2023: What is in the new post-Brexit trade deal on Northern Ireland?
The Spectator, 27/02/2023: Northern Ireland Protocol: is this a ‘breakthrough’ deal?
Confederation of British Industry (CBI): Media Centre, 27/02/2023: CBI responds to Northern Ireland Protocol agreement
BBC News, 27/02/2023: Northern Ireland Brexit deal: At-a-glance
The Telegraph, 27/02/2023: Rishi Sunak vs the EU: Who got the upper hand in Windsor Framework?
The Guardian: Editorial, 27/02/2023: The Guardian view on the Windsor framework: facing up to the Brexit mess
Universities UK: News, 27/02/2023: Our statement on the agreement of the Windsor Framework
The Irish Times, 27/02/2023: Windsor Framework: What are the main points of the new UK-EU deal?
UK in a Changing Europe: Commentary, 28/02/2023: The Windsor Framework: a quick evaluation
UK Parliament: House of Commons Library: Research Briefing No 9736, 28/02/2023: Northern Ireland Protocol: The Windsor Framework
Dublin City University: Brexit Institute, 28/02/2023: The Windsor Framework: or The Law & Politics of Reconnecting the UK to Europe
Sky News, 28/02/2023: Windsor Framework: What role will EU rules continue to play in Northern Ireland?
Institute for Government: Explainer, 28/02/2023: The Windsor Framework
The Spectator, 28/02/2023: The Windsor Framework isn’t the blessing Scottish nationalists think it is
BBC News, 28/02/2023: Windsor Framework: What do people in NI think of new protocol deal?
Oxford University: Saïd Business School: Expert Comment, 28/02/2023: The Windsor Framework shows the power of relationships when it comes to negotiations
Institute for Government: Commentary, 28/02/2023: The Windsor Framework improves the protocol – now the UK and EU need to make it work
BBC News, 01/03/2023: Brexit: What does Windsor Framework mean for business?
Euro|topics, February-March 2023: Northern Ireland Protocol: sticking point resolved?
Pinsent Masons: Out-Law News, 01/03/2023: Windsor Framework: ‘Caution needed’ as EU and UK work to rebuild trust
Tony Blair Institute: Commentary, 01/03/2023: The Windsor Framework – What Has Been Agreed and What It Means for the Northern Ireland Protocol
Centre for European Reform (CER): Insights, 01/03/2023: Does the Windsor deal herald warmer ties between Britain and the EU?
Scottish Parliament: SPICe Spotlight, 01/03/2023: Seeking effective operation of the Northern Ireland Protocol: The Windsor Framework
The British Medical Journal (BMJ): No 380, 01/03/2023: “Massive relief” as Northern Ireland’s health sector embraces Windsor framework
KPMG: Insights, 01/03/2023: The Windsor Framework. A summary of the new deal and what it means for NI business
The Economist, 02/03/2023: Explaining what is in the Windsor framework
UK in a Changing Europe: Commentary, 02/03/2023: The Windsor Framework: a new hope or a great betrayal?
The Conversation, 02/03/2023: Windsor framework: why Rishi Sunak was able to secure the Brexit deal that others couldn’t
YouGov, 02/03/2023: Sunak favourability rises amid Windsor Framework discussions
EU Law Analysis, 04/03/2023: The Windsor Framework: limiting the scope of EU law in Northern Ireland in practice, though not in theory (part 1)
The Irish Times: Opinion, 06/03/2023: Windsor Framework is as good as it gets for unionism. Will it be enough?
Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE): Blog, 09/03/2023: The Windsor Framework is welcome but doesn't solve Britain's Brexit headaches
Institute for Government: Explainers, 10/03/2023: Stormont Brake: The Windsor Framework
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS): Analysis, 10/03/2023: The Windsor Framework: A Good Step toward a Healthy EU-UK Relationship
Confederation of British Industry: Media Centre, 10/03/2023: Business leaders sign open letter backing Windsor Framework
European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS): At a Glance, 10/03/2023: The Windsor Framework
UK in a Changing Europe: Commentary, 16/03/2023: The Windsor Framework: paving the way towards or away from the abyss?
UK in a Changing Europe: Explainers, 20/03/2023: Regulatory divergence and the Windsor Framework
Hansard Society: Blog, 21/03/2023: Windsor Framework scrutiny complaints: Why MPs should look to themselves
The Telegraph: Comment, 22/03/2023: The Windsor Framework will go down in history as a missed opportunity - Opinion by Priti Patel MP

RTÉ News: Topics: Windsor Framework
Politico, 27/02/2023: The EU and UK have a Northern Ireland deal — so what’s in it?
The Guardian, 27/02/2023: Sunak hails ‘new chapter’ in UK-EU relations as Northern Ireland deal is agreed
BBC News, 27/02/2023: NI Brexit deal: Businesses hope for stability and certainty
Politico, 27/02/2023: Brexit: UK and EU strike deal on Northern Ireland protocol
Reuters, 27/02/2023: Rishi Sunak strikes post-Brexit Northern Ireland deal with EU
EurActiv, 27/02/2023: Von der Leyen and Sunak clinch Brexit deal over Northern Ireland trade
Deutsche Welle, 27/02/2023: EU, UK hail 'new chapter' in ties with Northern Ireland deal
Channel 4 News (UK), 27/02/2023: ‘Northern Ireland has fully regained its place within the UK internal market’, says NI minister Steve Baker
Bloomberg, 27/02/2023: UK and EU Seal ‘Decisive Breakthrough’ on Northern Ireland
Reuters, 27/02/2023: A risk taken, UK's Sunak announces the Windsor Framework
Euronews, 27/02/2023: EU and UK open 'new chapter' with Northern Ireland Protocol deal
Politico, 28/02/2023: Rishi Sunak gives EU ‘Windsor framework’ deal the hard sell in Belfast
The Irish Times, 28/02/2023: Windsor Framework: Sunak urges Tory MPs not to create ‘another Westminster drama’ over deal
EurActiv, 01/03/2023: Windsor Framework unlikely to be applied for ‘several months’, warn UK officials
Sky News, 02/03/2023: Boris Johnson says he will find it 'very difficult' to vote for Sunak's new Brexit deal
BBC News, 03/03/2023: Windsor Framework: Unionists to get 'legal reassurances'
BBC News, 11/03/2023: Windsor Framework: Business leaders support new deal
Politico, 20/03/2023: Northern Ireland’s DUP to vote against Windsor Framework Brexit deal
BBC News, 21/03/2023: Brexit: DUP will vote against Windsor Framework plans
Sky News, 22/03/2023: Windsor Framework: Government wins Brexit deal vote - despite Tory rebellion and DUP anger
The Guardian, 22/03/2023: Northern Ireland voters back Windsor framework – poll

European Commission: Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland
European Commission: Windsor Political Declaration by the European Commission and the Government of the United Kingdom
European Commission: Press Release, 27/02/2023: A new way forward on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland: political agreement in principle on the Windsor Framework
European Commission: Questions and Answers: political agreement in principle on the Windsor Framework, a new way forward for the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland (27 February 2023)
European Commission: Statement by President von der Leyen at the joint press conference with UK Prime Minister Sunak (27 February 2023)
UK Government: Press Release, 27/02/2023: Windsor Framework unveiled to fix problems of the Northern Ireland Protocol
UK Government: PM speech on the Windsor Framework: 27 February 2023
UK Government: PM statement to the House of Commons: 27 February 2023
US White House: Briefing Room, 27/02/2023: Statement from President Joe Biden on the Windsor Framework
European Parliament: Press Release, 27/02/2023: Brexit: leading MEPs welcome EU-UK political agreement on Northern Ireland
Alliance Party (NI): News, 28/02/2023: Windsor Framework provides basis for economic growth in NI, says Long
Welsh Government: Business Wales: News, 03/03/2023: The Windsor Framework
European Parliament: Press Release, 15/03/2023: EU-UK relations: Parliament assesses Windsor Framework and citizens’ rights
S&D EP Group: Newsroom, 15/03/2023: S&Ds lead overwhelming support for Windsor Framework as a new chapter in EU-UK relations
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP): News, 20/03/2023: DUP statement ahead of vote on Windsor Framework
UK Parliament: Votes, 22/03/2023: Draft Windsor Framework (Democratic Scrutiny) Regulations 2023
Alliance Party, 22/03/2023: Alliance to Support Windsor Framework in Key Vote

Wikipedia: Windsor Framework

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