Steve Peers Profile picture
Feb 27 29 tweets 9 min read
Windsor Framework legal text published. Some initial comments 1/…
First, a UK government command paper which summarises and defends the package
3/ next, a joint declaration of the EU Commission and the UK, which summarises the main points. Includes reciprocal commitments to drop NI protocol bill on one side and legal proceedings on the other. Joint Committee will meet soon to adopt legal texts.
4/ A statement of the UK government legal position. Unilateral, not binding, but interesting. Pours an ocean full of cold water on the NI protocol bill
5/ we pause for the thoughts of John Redwood
6/ There are thirteen more documents, mostly soft law non-binding declarations.

But the key to the package is a draft Joint Committee decision, which will be binding and will *amend the protocol*. It uses the Joint Committee powers to amend the withdrawal agreement (see para 3)
7/ The amendments to the protocol start with a new bit added to its Article on UK internal trade
8/ next, the protocol is amended to add the "Stormont brake" on amended or replaced EU law. Note the threshold of "significant impact on everyday life" etc
9/ I've summarised this new procedure in a gif
10/ VAT. The protocol is amended, not to drop requirements on VAT fully, but to add more flexibility for the UK (re NI) in an Annex
11/ A similar approach is taken with excise tax. A specific exemption including "alcoholic beverages packaged in large draught containers served for immediate consumption in hospitality venues". The drafters are clearly party animals.
12/ the drafting is full of complex cross-references to EU tax law, so what can I say except "Tax Lawyers Assemble!"
13/ the biggest bit of the Joint Committee decision will replace a previous Joint Committee decision. This is the part that will reduce checks on goods going from GB to NI. (I am not screenshotting all of it)
14/ more on the Stormont brake - a unilateral declaration by the UK, but added as an annex to the Joint Committee decision. Bit of a soft/hard law hybrid. Note the condition that the NI executive is operational, assembly members act in good faith, and the minority veto
15/ moving on to the soft law. Joint declaration: the whole protocol should be called the "Windsor Framework" from now on. Renaming things always works well. Just ask Brandon!
16/ next, a joint committee recommendation on what happens if the UK pulls the Stormont brake and the arbitrators rule that the UK has abused it. (Not quite as sexy as I've made it sound)
17/ a joint declaration, also on the Stormont brake
18/ the next thing is binding: a change to the rules of procedure of a working group, so NI stakeholders are more involved
19/ similarly, a joint declaration on involving stakeholders in the work of the committees
Unilateral UK declaration on review of the consent mechanism, ie the possibility of a majority of members of the NI assembly to vote to end most of the protocol - the consent mechanism isn't changed though
21/ a couple of soft law measures on the possibility of cross border smuggling
22/ unilateral UK declaration on goods moving from NI to GB - when export rules of EU law will apply
23/ unilateral UK declaration on parcels *until* the new Joint Committee decision takes effect - that decision will simplify parcels moving between GB and NI
24/ Joint declaration on possibly agreeing further amendments to VAT rules in future
25/ State aid: EU State aid law *continues to apply to NI* - despite UK government implying otherwise. The protocol is *not amended* on this point, but there is a joint declaration interpreting it.
26/ note also parallel proposals for EU legislation and other measures on medicine and food checks (SPS) etc…
27/ the SPS proposal includes rules on the movement of pets from GB to NI, although tbh it looks a little more complicated than putting doggo on the back seat and driving onto the ferry
28/ on the CJEU, there is *no change*, even in soft law - see the Commission Q and A. This refers to the general commitment to try to settle disputes politically (see the joint declaration in tweet 3)
29) any interest in a blog post version of all this?

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More from @StevePeers

Feb 16
Catch up of EU legal news after the latest round of #ucustrikes action

1/ Home Office decides not to appeal ruling against it re status of EU citizens in the UK
2/ EU Member States' representatives agree that EU should become party to Istanbul Convention on violence against women

3/ European Parliament votes for legislation setting up a framework for EU response to UK breach of Brexit treaties - likely to be formally adopted soon

(Any interest in a blog post explaining this law?)
Read 9 tweets
Feb 8
UK Supreme Court unanimously dismisses unionist challenge to NI protocol

Press summary -…

Judgment full text -…
Summary of the Supreme Court reasoning
My summary of the summary:

1) The Supreme Court assumes that the NI protocol conflicts with the prior Act of Union; but this doesn't matter as the Act of Parliament giving effect to the withdrawal agreement in UK domestic law expressly takes precedence.
Read 11 tweets
Feb 5
Here's the non-regression clause in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The threshold for reducing environmental standards is identical. Any use of retaliation could be connected to a dispute settlement process.
EU legislation setting a framework for retaliation is set for a a European Parliament vote on 14th February. The Commission discussed the issue with Member State officials last week.

(For some reason when I pass on details on either development there are often snippy comments)
Read 4 tweets
Jan 26
New infringement proceedings against Member States brought by EU Commission - including equal treatment of lecturers, social security, enforcement of posted workers rules 1/5…
2/5 new infringement proceedings against Member States - alleged failure to implement regulation on online terrorist content; alleged unspecified mistakes in implementing EU law on asylum, child sexual abuse
3/5 new infringement proceedings against Member States: complaint that Malta makes it too difficult for non-EU citizens (now including Brits) to obtain EU long term residence status (as compared to citizenship requirements), by requiring them to learn Maltese, moves to next phase
Read 5 tweets
Jan 23
EU courts, new cases

Brexit and criminal law

Do UK citizens still benefit from the degree of protection against extradition to non-EU countries which EU law guarantees to EU citizens who have moved between Member States?
CJEU, new cases

Equality law: can a national law provide for dismissal due to disability, without considering reasonable accommodation for the worker with a disability?
CJEU, new cases

Fair trials law: first time national court has sent questions to the CJEU about EU law on the rights of child suspects
Read 7 tweets
Dec 31, 2022
One might expect a trade minister to have some idea of what he's talking about. In fact, use of e-gates will be harmonised across Schengen countries when EU entry-exit system becomes operational but with greater hassle for non-Schengen state citizens because UK left free movement
Here's my summary of the entry exit system legislation, from the next edition of my book on EU Justice and Home Affairs law. The idea that a Schengen state can exempt the UK from the usual rules is a non-starter. HOWEVER... ImageImageImage
...the current provisions on when Schengen states can have separate treaties with non-EU countries for longer stays, referred to at the top of the third screenshot, are due to be reviewed. At present, there cannot be such treaties with the UK, since new treaties are ruled out.
Read 11 tweets

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