Windsor Framework is an important stepping stone on necessary changes to NI Protocol – Beattie

< Back To News

Windsor Framework is an important stepping stone on necessary changes to NI Protocol – Beattie

Ulster Unionist Party Leader Doug Beattie has said whilst further reforms are necessary, the Windsor Framework represents an important stepping stone on rectifying many of the unwarranted challenges from the previous Northern Ireland Protocol.  

“It is clear that a lot of effort and negotiation has taken place between the European Union and the United Kingdom Government with respect to the Windsor Framework. Whilst there has been progress made, the United Kingdom Government itself could not say that all issues that needed to be resolved have been. As such there remain both challenges, as well as opportunities, around the framework that need to be dealt with in the short to medium term.


“The Ulster Unionist Party see the Framework as a stepping stone towards achieving a lasting solution to the many issues and challenges with our post Brexit trading relationship with both Great Britain and the European Union. These are not just perceived problems, they are real and tangible obstructions that people and businesses continue to experience to this day.   


“The opportunities presented by the Windsor Framework are clear and centre around dual market access, business support and the promise of foreign direct investment. From many of the businesses that the UUP have engaged with over the last number of weeks, the overall message is that the Framework has been a significant stride towards a more certain future. With that certainty they hope will come the confidence to allow the Northern Ireland economy to grow, and thereby enhancing our prosperity overall. In doing so it creates further opportunity for our people and secures our place in the union.


“The Stormont Brake offers Northern Ireland politicians a unique say in EU laws that may affect this part of the UK due to our access to the single market. But important points of legal and technical clarification still remain outstanding. That EU law should not affect those who trade purely between Great Britain and Northern Ireland but is necessary to allow businesses such as the dairy industry to operate into the EU single market unhindered.


“The Irish Sea Border has not gone, there remains issues with the VAT and State Aid Rules. It’s clear that questions around moribund EU laws remain and significant points of clarity surrounding the red and green lanes have yet to be answered.  These are where we must focus our efforts in the short term in order to get clarity and find solutions. Similarly, a range of issues remain outstanding for our agricultural industry and the long-term provision of veterinary medicines. 


“The simple fact is that without a functioning devolved government we cannot address either the opportunities or deal with the challenges of the Windsor Framework. The question of support for the Framework is not a binary one but the question of governing in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland is. Without a functioning devolved government EU law will automatically apply without local input.  The opportunities for business and DFI could be lost as government support and timely intervention are lost. This cannot be allowed to happen.


“The question for the Ulster Unionist Party is fundamental to the question surrounding the Framework.  Are we a party of devolved government who will do what is best for the people of Northern Ireland. The answer is a resounding yes and in doing so we will meet the opportunities and challenges of the Windsor Framework head on within any re-established Stormont.”