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New UK and EU Trade Deal

England’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Union (EU) President Ursula Von der Leyen signed a new agreement to amend the Northern Ireland Protocol, recently.

Northern Ireland's commercial status has been one of the most controversial issues involving the European Community (EC) since the approval of Brexit, and the United Kingdom's exit from it.

If you aren’t up to date on everything then don't worry. Ireland is part of the EU and is the only land border within British territory through Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom.

After Brexit, the UK and the EU signed the Northern Ireland Protocol which introduced customs barriers for goods leaving Britain for the country. However, in practice as the UK and the EC have different trade and tax laws, there has been a European Community oversight which was hurting residents of Northern Ireland.

To give you an idea of the perplexity, the EC guidelines on “chilled meat products” barred sausages from reaching Northern Ireland, even though the item was circulating in the UK normally. This is just one of the examples. It's as if the country was part of the United Kingdom, but it was being taxed as an outside member because it has a direct border with an EU country.

With the renewal of the agreement, called the Windsor Protocol, there will be minimal customs controls for trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In other words, everyday life returns to being in a country that belongs to the Kingdom.

Goods that have Ireland as their final destination will continue to be checked normally.

Although Sunak still needs Parliament's approval to make the agreement with the EU, he is already paving the way to improve British relations with the bloc.

Have a great day!

Prof. Carl Boniface

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