Von der Leyen says that the agreement opens a “new stage” in relations between Brussels and London

Von der Leyen says that the agreement opens a "new stage" in relations between Brussels and London

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyenconsiders that the “Windsor agreement” on Northern Ireland marks the beginning of a “new stage” in UK-EU relations. A new stage that leave confrontation and hostility behind that had marked the relationship between the former spouses after the Brexit divorce. And that starts a era of full cooperation on issues such as the war in Ukraine, the energy transition or the fight against climate change.

“If we look at the enormous challenges we face together, whether it’s Russia’s heinous war in Ukraine or the fight against climate change, we have so much in common! We are fighting for the same values, we are on the same sidehand in hand and we want the best solution for the people of Northern Ireland”, said the president at a joint press conference with the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.

Von der Leyen has called “extraordinary” the agreement reached between Brussels and London to modify the Northern Ireland protocol. An agreement that, according to what he said, solves practical problems on the ground and at the same time preserves the integrity of both the European single market and the British market.

[La UE y Reino Unido alcanzan un acuerdo sobre la frontera de Irlanda del Norte tras el Brexit]

The president assures that the commitment also guarantees the protection of the Belfast Good Friday Peace Agreement, of which this year marks the 25th anniversary. As he explained, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) will continue to have the last word in resolving disputes that affect the single European market.

“The Windsor agreement is intended to benefit the people of Northern Ireland and to support all communities celebrating peace on the island of Ireland. And this is why I believe we can open a new chapter in our association: a stronger relationship between the EU and the UK, as close allies working hand in hand now and in the future,” said von der Leyen.

The first sample of this reconciliation on the part of Brussels will be accept London as a member of the Horizon Europe research program.

The British Prime Minister also considers that the Windsor agreement opens a “new stage” in relations with the EU. The changes in the protocol will make it possible to reduce bureaucracy and controls on goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. In addition, an “emergency brake” has been included so that the Stormont parliament has more decision-making power on new European laws.

Sunak has announced that the agreement will be submitted to a binding vote in Westminster, but has asked for “time and space” so that everyone can examine it in detail before having to rule.

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