The Commission has today adopted a proposal setting out a new EU-UK joint solution under the Windsor Framework regarding the use of tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) by Northern Ireland businesses.
The proposed solution follows the public commitment back in February 2023 to work together on a solution so that Northern Ireland businesses could use TRQs for commodities originating from the rest of the world. At the time, both sides agreed that any solution needed to be based on available evidence and data, taking account of historic trade flows and providing appropriate protection to the EU Single Market.
The proposal adopted today delivers on this promise. It consists of a proposal to amend the section on ‘goods not at risk’ of the decision of the Joint Committee of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement laying down arrangements relating to the Windsor Framework. The aim is to ensure that Northern Ireland businesses are able to make use of UK TRQs for imports from third countries of several agri-food products, such as New Zealand lamb. The solution is based on the needs of Northern Ireland businesses, while at the same time ensuring the protection of the EU Single Market.
Following in-depth technical discussions with the UK, the Commission is now putting forward a proposal to the Council. If the Council approves the proposal, the EU and the UK are expected to formally agree on the solution at the next meeting of the Joint Committee of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement.