- 01 Mar 2020
Other: The EU Commission says it is. The position of the UK Govt. is not clear.
Relevant extracts from the Withdrawal Agreement:
ACKNOWLEDGING that, for an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union, it is
also necessary to establish, in separate protocols to this Agreement, durable arrangements
addressing the very specific situations relating to Ireland/Northern Ireland and to the Sovereign
Base Areas in Cyprus,
PROTOCOL ON IRELAND/NORTHERN IRELAND
NOTING that nothing in this Protocol prevents the United Kingdom from ensuring unfettered
market access for goods moving from Northern Ireland to the rest of the United Kingdom's internal
market,........The objective of the Withdrawal Agreement is not to establish a permanent relationship
between the Union and the United Kingdom. The provisions of this Protocol are therefore intended
to apply only temporarily, taking into account the commitments of the Parties set out in Article
2(1). The provisions of this Protocol shall apply unless and until they are superseded, in whole or in
part, by a subsequent agreement..........ARTICLE 6
Single customs territory, movement of goods
1. Until the future relationship becomes applicable, a single customs territory between the Union
and the United Kingdom shall be established ("the single customs territory"). Accordingly,
Northern Ireland is in the same customs territory as Great Britain.
The single customs territory shall comprise:
(a) the customs territory of the Union defined in Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013; and
(b) the customs territory of the United Kingdom.
The rules set out in Annex 2 to this Protocol shall apply in respect of all trade in goods between the
territories referred to in the second subparagraph, as well as, where so provided, between the single
customs territory and third countries. With a view to ensuring the maintenance of the level playing
field conditions required for the proper functioning of this paragraph, the provisions set out in
Annex 4 to this Protocol shall apply. Where appropriate, the Joint Committee may modify Annex 4
in order to lay down higher standards for these level playing field conditions.
The Joint Committee shall adopt before 1 July 2020 the detailed rules relating to trade in goods
between the two parts of the single customs territory for the implementation of this paragraph. In
the absence of such a decision adopted before 1 July 2020, Annex 3 shall apply.
By derogation from the third subparagraph, fishery and aquaculture products, as set out in Annex I
to Regulation (EU) 1379/2013 ("fishery and aquaculture products"), shall not be covered by the
rules set out in Annexes 2 and 4, as well as the rules referred to in the fourth subparagraph, unless
an agreement on access to waters and fishing opportunities is applicable between the Union and the
United Kingdom. In accordance with Article 184 of the Withdrawal Agreement, the Union and the
United Kingdom shall use their best endeavours to conclude and ratify such an agreement before 1
The Joint Committee may adopt decisions amending Annex 3 to this Protocol, where such
amendments are necessary for the proper functioning of this paragraph. Such decisions may not
amend the essential elements of this Protocol or the Withdrawal Agreement.
The second subparagraph of this paragraph is without prejudice to the specific arrangements set out
in the Protocol relating to the Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland in Cyprus.
2. Legislation as defined in point (2) of Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 of the
European Parliament and of the Council1 shall apply to and in the United Kingdom in respect of
Northern Ireland (not including the territorial waters of the United Kingdom). However, the Joint
Committee shall establish the conditions, including in quantitative terms, under which certain
fishery and aquaculture products brought into the customs territory of the Union defined in Article 4
of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 by vessels flying the flag of the United Kingdom and registered in
Northern Ireland are exempted from duties.
The provisions of Union law listed in Annex 5 to this Protocol shall also apply, under the conditions
set out therein, to and in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland.
Articles 30 and 110 TFEU shall apply to and in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland.
Quantitative restrictions on exports and imports shall be prohibited between the Union and Northern
1 Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 of the Europn Parliament and of the Council of 9 October
2013 laying down the Union Customs Code (OJ L 269, 10.10.2013, p. 1).