Worries about the logistical impact of the Windsor Framework – the revised Brexit deal for Northern Ireland – have not come to pass, a Cabinet Office minister has said.
Baroness Neville-Rolfe made her comments in a letter to a Lords committee and said the framework cannot be used to justify not restoring Stormont.
The Tory peer said that ministers are aware that some sought to justify not forming an executive over fears it would be “disruptive and unworkable”.
The Windsor Framework was formally introduced at the start of October with a new “red and green lane” system brought in for the movement of food products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
As well as the lane system, the introduction of ‘Not for EU’ labels are now being attached to some food items being sold in Northern Ireland.
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Prior to the introduction of the new system, some supermarkets had expressed concerns that there were outstanding issues that were yet to be addressed.
However, according to the BBC, temporary solutions means consumers are yet to notice any impact,
Following Baroness Neville-Rolfe’s comments, ministers are confident that the implementation of the plan remains.
Twenty months ago, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), who were once relied upon by Theresa May’s Government when she was trying to get her Brexit deal through Parliament, walked out of Stormont in protest to the Northern Ireland protocol, which was the forerunner to the Windsor Framework.
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The pro-Union party has argued that the Framework is too similar to the protocol and therefore undermines Northern Ireland’s position in the UK.
On Saturday, DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson told delegates at their party conference that he still has faith in devolution and was in negotiation with the UK government.
He told the DUP conference: “We are making progress, but there remains more work to do. I am hopeful that remaining concerns can be addressed as quickly as possible.”
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