The EU and UK have reaffirmed their commitment to implementing Windsor Framework, the February agreement to guide relations after Brexit.
EU and UK officials are holding a series of meetings on Monday and Tuesday in Brussels to discuss further steps on post-Brexit cooperation.
Led by Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission’s vice-president in charge of interinstitutional relations, and James Cleverly, the British foreign secretary, the EU-UK Withdrawal Joint Committee held a meeting on Monday.
Sefcovic and Cleverly also opened the two-day working session of the EU-UK Parliamentary Partnership Assembly, a platform meant to ensure cooperation between EU and British lawmakers.
Sefcovic reaffirmed that “the EU and the UK are close and like-minded partners,” saying the Windsor framework put “our relationship on a more positive trajectory."
He explained that the agreement helped find “solutions to the concrete problems experienced on the ground in the implementation of the protocol on Northern Ireland," including agri-food, medicines, customs, VAT exercise, state aid, and trade quotas.
The EU official stressed that the bloc will keep working on ensuring “the full protections of citizen’s rights under the withdrawal agreement.”
At the same time, he underlined that the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and EU “can never be a replacement for EU membership, so it can no longer be as frictionless as dynamic as before.”
For his part, Cleverly reaffirmed that together with the EU, his government is “fully committed to the full implementation of the agreement.”
The EU and the UK had been in a dispute for years over the application of the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Brexit agreement, which established a special trade regime.
The UK left the EU after 47 years of membership on Jan. 31, 2020.