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The Windsor Framework: A New Way Forward

5 April 2023

The UK Government has long recognised the need to take account of Northern Ireland’s unique circumstances, and to protect all dimensions of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

That means avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland and supporting North-South cooperation – including respecting the long standing single epidemiological area on the island of Ireland and arrangements that existed long before Brexit.

Crucially the government’s approach also means upholding Northern Ireland’s integral place in the United Kingdom (UK) and its internal market – on which so many livelihoods depend – in line with the principle of consent.

Set out in the Windsor Framework, this new approach restores the balance needed to uphold the Belfast Agreement in all its dimensions. The agreement looks to:

  • Restore the smooth flow of trade within the UK internal market.
  • Safeguard Northern Ireland’s place in the Union.
  • Addresses the democratic deficit.

Over the past 18+ months the government has sought to address any issues in a sustainable, comprehensive way that can fully preserve the balance of the Belfast Agreement – seeking the basis for a productive future relationship between the UK and the EU, working in partnership to deal with a range of global challenges.