The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland
The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland is annexed to and an integral part of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement (2020).
It comprises a Preamble, 19 Articles and seven Annexes. The original text of the Protocol as agreed in 2019 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 31 January 2020, the day the UK withdrew from the EU. It has since been amended as part of the Windsor Framework (2023) (see below for a consolidated version).
The Preamble sets out in declaratory language the rationales for the United Kingdom and the EU agreeing the Protocol.
The legal provisions of the Protocol are then set out in the 19 Articles. These cover:
- Rights of Individuals
- Common Travel Area
- Customs territory of the United Kingdom
- Customs, movement of goods
- Protection of the UK internal market
- Technical regulations, assessments, registrations, certificates, approvals and authorisations
- VAT and excise
- Single electricity market
- State aid
- Other areas of North-South cooperation
- Implementation, application, supervision and enforcement
- Common provisions
- Specialised Committee
- Joint consultative working group
- Protection of financial interests
- Democratic consent in Northern Ireland
Attached to the Protocol are seven Annexes containing either lists of EU acts applicable in either 'the United Kingdom' or 'the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland' (Annexes 1-5) or provisions detailing specific processes (Annexes 6-7):
- Provisions of Union Law Referred to in Article 2(1) - Individual rights
- Provisions of Union Law Referred to in Article 5(4) - Movement of goods
- Provisions of Union Law Referred to in Article 8 - VAT and excise
- Provisions of Union Law Referred to in Article 9 - Single electricity market
- Provisions of Union Law Referred to in Article 10(1) - State aid
- Procedures referred to in Article 10(2) - State aid and subsidies for agriculture
- Procedures referred to in Article 16(3) - Safeguards
The lists contained in Annexes 1-5 and any changes that have been made to them by Decisions of the Joint Committee are reflected in an online updated consolidated version of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement on the Eur-Lex website. The changes made to the Annexes are discussed under Applicable EU Law.
The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland as amended through the Windsor Framework (2023) - Consolidated Text
The Protocol was amended in 2023 as part of the Windsor Framework. The amendments were introduced through Decision 1/2023 of the EU-UK Joint Committee.
As yet, no consolidated text of the Protocol incorporating the Windsor Framework amendments has been published in the Official Journal.
As part of this project, we have compiled an unofficial consolidated version of the Protocol and present it here in two forms:
- simplified form indicating amendments introduced by the Windsor Framework
- annotated form indicating amendments and how the wider set of recommendations and declarations adopted as part of the Windsor Framework relate to the amended Protocol.