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US News What's new about Boris Johnson's Brexit deal?

16:00  17 october  2019
16:00  17 october  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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But Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, said much of the text of the agreement was the same as a year ago.

So what has changed?

Regulations

Northern Ireland will remain aligned with the single market on goods, but checks and procedures will take place at ports and airports, and not at the border.

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This means UK authorities will have responsibility for applying the EU rules in Northern Ireland.

Customs

Northern Ireland will be part of the UK's customs territory, ensuring it will be included in any future trade deal struck between the UK government and the EU.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks on as he meets with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. © Reuters Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks on as he meets with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

But the region is still going to be an entry point to the EU's customs zone.

UK authorities will apply UK tariffs to products entering Northern Ireland as long as they are not destined to go across the border and into Ireland. In other words, no EU tariffs on goods going from mainland Britain into Northern Ireland.

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The UK will collect EU tariffs on behalf of the bloc for goods at risk of entering the single market.

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VAT

EU rules on VAT (value added tax) and excise duties will apply in Northern Ireland, but the UK will have to collect them.

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The UK can also apply VAT exemptions and reduced rates in Northern Ireland that are applied in Ireland.

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Consent

Stormont Assembly members will vote on whether to continue to apply the arrangements after an initial four-year period when they come into effect at the start of 2021.

The vote will be a simple majority head count at Stormont, and won't require the support of a majority of unionists and nationalists under the contentious "petition of concern mechanism".

The DUP will not have the opportunity to exercise a veto.

If the vote is carried, the arrangements will be extended for four years.

But if it turns out a majority of unionists and a majority of nationalists voted in favour of the move, and therefore gave cross-party support, then they will continue for eight years instead.

If members vote to come out of the EU arrangements, there will be a two-year cooling off period before it happens.

Unlike in the backstop, this system won't be replaced by a new free-trade deal between Britain and the EU.

Future deal

The aim is to have a free-trade agreement after Brexit, with no tariffs and unlimited quotas.

The sides also hope to uphold high standards on environment, climate and workers' rights, among other things.

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