The New UK-EU Joint Report on Phase 1 of the Negotiations: Preliminary views on the Ireland and Northern Ireland Section
This paper presents our preliminary views on the Ireland and Northern Ireland section of the Joint Report from the negotiators of the EU and the UK Government on Progress during Phase 1. The document is a joint report from the negotiators; it is not an agreement but an authoritative account of the level of agreement reached so far. As such, it provides as agreed evidence of “sufficient progress” to move on to Phase 2 of the negotiations. They have reached agreement on three areas, one of which is “the framework for addressing the unique circumstances in Northern Ireland” but the report is clear that they form a “single and coherent package”. Subject to the principle that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” and other listed caveats, the idea is that the commitments with be reflected in the Withdrawal Agreement. The focus here is on the section on Ireland and Northern Ireland although it should be noted that the other sections (for example, on citizens’ rights) have implications too.