Windsor Framework (Implementation) Regulations 2024

Members' Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 10:45 am on 16 April 2024.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jim Allister Jim Allister Traditional Unionist Voice 10:45, 16 April 2024

One of the headline sales pitches for the tainted Donaldson deal was, "Zero checks, zero paperwork". In that regard, the Windsor Framework (Implementation) Regulations were trumpeted as being the passage to that. Those regulations, which give the Secretary of State power to issue instructions to DAERA, came into effect last Friday. We still await the publication of those directions, which was promised in the legislation.

When one studies the regulations, it seems clear that the promise of zero paperwork is undeliverable. The regulations give power only to instruct DAERA, but DAERA is not the responsible authority. According to DAERA, HMRC is responsible for paperwork and customs declarations. Of course, that fits with the fact that that all arises from our subjection to a foreign EU customs code that operates on the basis that goods coming from GB are coming from a foreign territory into EU territory, namely Northern Ireland, hence the necessity for customs paperwork.

One will watch with interest to see whether the bold promise of zero checks and zero paperwork will be met. One will also look to see how the 5% minimum set forth in EU legislation will, allegedly, be overcome, or was it all just so much spin and hype? That seems to be the fundamental defining hallmark of the tainted Donaldson deal.