Unilateral Declaration bu the UK

Declaration by Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning the Northern Ireland Protocol

The   United   Kingdom   reiterates   its   wish   to   establish   a   future   partnership   that   is   as   close   and   strong   as   possible,  given  the  global  challenges  it  shares  with  the  European  Union,  and  underlines  its  commitment   to  embark   on   preparations   immediately   after   the   signature   of   the  Withdrawal   Agreement   to   ensure   that   negotiations  on  the  future  relationship  can  start  as  soon  as  possible  after  withdrawal.

In  that  light,  the  United  Kingdom  notes,  subject  to  Article  1(4)  of  the  Protocol  on Ireland/Northern  Ireland,   that  the  objective  of  the  Withdrawal  Agreement  is  not  to  establish  a  permanent  relationship  between  the   Union  and  the  United  Kingdom,  and  that  the  provisions  of  the  Protocol  are  therefore  intended  to  apply  only   temporarily,  taking  into  account  the  commitments  of  the  Parties  set  out  in  Article  2(1).  The  preamble  to  the   Protocol  further  recalls  that  the  Withdrawal  Agreement,  which  is  based  on  Article  50  TEU,  does  not  aim  at   establishing  a  permanent  future  relationship  between  the  Union  and  the  United  Kingdom.

The   United   Kingdom   wishes   to   record   its   understanding   of   the   effect   of   this   provision   if,   contrary   to   the   intentions   of   the   parties,   it   is   not   possible   for   them   to   conclude   an   agreement   which   supersedes   the  Protocol  in  whole  or  in  part  due  to  a  breach  of  Article  5  of  the  Withdrawal  Agreement  by  the  Union.   The  United  Kingdom  would  not  consider  its  application  to  be  temporary  in  these  circumstances,  as  in  its   view  the  Protocol  would  then  constitute  a  permanent  relationship  between  the  Union  and  the  United   Kingdom.  Article  1(4)  makes  clear  this  is  not  the  Parties’  intention.  If  under  these  circumstances  it  proves   not  to  be  possible  to  negotiate  a  subsequent  agreement  as  envisaged  in  Article  2  of  the  Protocol,  the

United   Kingdom  records   its   understanding   that   nothing   in   the   Withdrawal   Agreement   would   prevent   it   from   instigating   measures  that  could  ultimately  lead  to  disapplication  of  obligations  under  the  Protocol,  in   accordance  with  Part  Six,  Title  III  of  the  Withdrawal  Agreement  or  Article  20  of  the  Protocol,  and  under  the   proviso  that  the  UK  will  uphold  its  obligations  under  the  1998  Agreement  in  all  its  dimensions  and  under  all   circumstances  and  to  avoid  a  hard  border  on  the  island  of  Ireland.

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