“He’s done it.” Sunak’s Windsor deal draws praise from most quarters
Rishi Sunak’s Windsor Framework not only provides clarity and surety for companies carrying out trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, but also represents a big step forward for the UK’s trading relationship with the EU. In the words of staunch Brexiteer Steve Baker, “he’s done it.”
While much of the operational detail on how exactly the new system will work is yet to be published, the benefits are clear. The movement of retail packed meat products destined for supermarket shelves or other consumer-facing organisations like schools, prisons and food service will essentially be able to return to a more normal delivery system via the new green lanes. Although suppliers will still need to be registered as a trusted trader and notify when goods have been delivered to their destination, much of the bureaucracy will be removed.
Any other meat that will be going on for further processing in Northern Ireland, and so could end up in the EU, will go through the red lane as it would if it was being sent to Calais or Rotterdam.
The EU have been able to offer these concessions because we’re still aligned with their standards, which gives the reassurance needed be able to loosen border controls. If in the future the UK decides to diverge, then further negotiations will be necessary.
Perhaps the thing that is most encouraging is that, in negotiating the Windsor Framework, Mr Sunak and his team have provided a blueprint for future collaborative and productive trade negotiations with Europe.
For now, though, it is in the hands of the politicians, and we hope that pragmatism and the national interest rather than politics will be driving the process.