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Call for Evidence

Written submissions

The European Affairs Sub-Committee on the Protocol on Ireland/ Northern Ireland was appointed in April 2021, to consider all matters related to the Protocol, including scrutinising EU legislation applying to Northern Ireland under the Protocol, the Protocol’s overall socio-economic and political impact on Northern Ireland, and to engage in inter-parliamentary dialogue, notably with the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Committee is undertaking an inquiry into the Windsor Framework announced by the UK and the EU on 27 February 2023. The Committee will begin taking oral evidence in March, and also welcomes written submissions via this Call for Evidence.

The Committee is happy to receive submissions on any issues related to the subject of the inquiry, but would particularly welcome responses to the questions listed below. You do not need to answer every question.

In so doing, we ask that contributors do not comment on any relevant ongoing legal proceedings.

The deadline for submissions is 4pm on Tuesday 2 May 2023.

Diversity comes in many forms, and hearing from a range of different perspectives means that Committees are better informed and can more effectively scrutinise public policy and legislation. Committees can undertake their role most effectively when they hear from a wide range of individuals, sectors or groups in society affected by a particular policy or piece of legislation. We encourage anyone with experience or expertise of the issues under investigation to share their views with the committee, with the full knowledge that their views have value and are welcome. Information on how to submit evidence is set out below. If you have any questions or require adjustments to enable you to respond, please email or phone 020 7219 2466. 



1. What is your overall assessment of the Windsor Framework? How far does it go to resolve the problems that have arisen with the Protocol? Does it leave any issues unresolved?

2. How would you assess the Windsor Framework against the UK and EU’s joint commitment to protect the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, “including its subsequent implementation agreements and arrangements, in all its dimensions and in all its strands”?

3. To what extent will the Windsor Framework protect both “Northern Ireland’s integral place in the United Kingdom’s internal market” and its “unique access” to the EU Single Market?

4. How significant is the difference of emphasis in the UK and EU publications accompanying the Windsor Framework? Are there any factual inconsistencies in their description of the agreement?

Customs procedures and the movement of goods

5. What is your assessment of the Windsor Framework’s provisions in relation to customs procedures and the movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, including the arrangements for ‘green’ and ‘red’ lanes, an enhanced Trusted Trader Scheme, handling of Tariff Rate Quotas and the system of commercial data-sharing?


6. How would you assess the new framework for agrifood retail trade into Northern Ireland agreed as part of the Windsor Framework? Does it go far enough in mitigating the issues that have been raised in relation to the arrangements for agrifood trade under the Protocol?


7. What is your response to the Framework’s arrangements concerning parcel deliveries between Northern Ireland and the EU and UK?

VAT and excise

8. What is your assessment of the Windsor Framework’s proposals on VAT and excise, including the new UK-EU Enhanced Cooperation Mechanism, and the commitment to explore establishing a list of goods not subject to EU VAT rules?


9. What is your assessment of the Windsor Framework’s provisions on the supply of human medicines to Northern Ireland? Do they deal sufficiently with the issues previously raised by industry in relation to the Protocol?

Plants, seeds, machinery and trees

10. Do the proposals on plants, seeds, machinery and trees resolve the problems encountered under the Protocol?

Subsidy control/State aid

11. What is your assessment of the UK-EU Joint Declaration on the application of Article 10(1) of the Windsor Framework? What is the legal status of this document, and what impact will it have in practice?

Movement of pets

12. What is your assessment of the proposals on pets, including a pet travel document and owner declaration for pets moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, and microchip identification for pets moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain and back?

Veterinary medicines

13. In the context of the Framework, how would you assess the current situation with regard to veterinary medicines? What steps need to be taken to agree a long-term solution before the expiry of the grace period at the end of 2025?

Regulatory divergence

14. What is the significance of the Windsor Framework for regulatory divergence a) East-West, between Northern Ireland and Great Britain and b) North-South, on the island of Ireland? What is your assessment of the mechanisms to manage divergence, including the new Special Goods Body and the role of the Office of the Internal Market? Should a record be kept of such divergence, and if so, by who?

The application of EU rules in Northern Ireland

15. In the context of the Government’s reference to the removal of 1,700 pages of EU law, what is your assessment of the Windsor Framework’s impact on the scale of the application of EU law to Northern Ireland? What are the political, constitutional and economic implications of this?

The democratic deficit and the ‘Stormont Brake’

16. What is your assessment of the proposed Stormont Brake and the conditions for its use, including that an EU act “would have a significant impact specific to everyday life of communities in Northern Ireland in a way that is liable to persist”? To what extent will this address the democratic deficit under the Protocol? What practical, political and legal factors need to be borne in mind in terms of its use and operation, including the Government’s commitment to bring forward legislation to give effect to the Stormont Brake, and the EU’s ability to take “appropriate remedial measures” in response to a UK veto?

New structures for UK-EU cooperation

17. How would you assess the Framework’s enhanced mechanisms for UK-EU cooperation, including the Special Body on Goods, the Enhanced Coordination Mechanism on VAT and excise, sub-groups to the Joint Consultative Working Group?

Engagement with Northern Ireland stakeholders

18. What is your assessment of the Commission’s proposals for enhanced engagement with Northern Ireland stakeholders, including dedicated annual presentations, information sessions, workshops, and mechanisms for engagement with public consultations and impact assessments?

19. What steps should be taken by the EU to inform and consult Northern Ireland Executive Ministers and Assembly members on forthcoming legislative proposals applying to Northern Ireland?

The governance of the Framework, including arbitration and the role of the CJEU

20. What is your assessment of the governance of the Framework, including the role of the CJEU and the Withdrawal Agreement’s mechanism for arbitration? What change, if any, will be made to the CJEU’s role under the Framework?


21. What is your assessment of the various safeguard and market surveillance mechanisms designed to protect the EU Single Market? What impact will these have in practice?




This is a public call for evidence. Please bring it to the attention of other groups and individuals who may wish to respond.

Short, concise submissions, of no more than six pages, are preferred. A longer submission should include a one-page summary. Paragraphs should be numbered. Submissions should be dated, with a note of the author’s name, and of whether the author is acting on an individual or corporate basis. All submissions made through the written submission form will be acknowledged automatically by email. This does not constitute formal acceptance of evidence by the Committee, which takes place when the Committee meets.

Personal contact details supplied to the Committee will be removed from submissions before publication but will be retained by the Committee staff for specific purposes relating to the Committee’s work, such as seeking additional information.

Submissions become the property of the Committee, which will decide whether to accept them as evidence. Evidence may be published by the Committee at any stage. It will normally appear on the Committee’s website and will be deposited in the Parliamentary Archives.

Once you have received notification that your submission has been accepted as evidence and published by the Committee, you may publicise or publish it yourself, but in doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee. If you publish your evidence separately, you should be aware that you will be legally responsible for its content.

You can follow the progress of the inquiry at

This call for written evidence has now closed.

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