Joint statement by the UK Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Gove and European Commission Vice-President Šefčovič

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The co-chairs of the EU-UK Joint Committee on the Withdrawal Agreement – European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and the UK Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove – met to prepare the upcoming Joint Committee on the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland and the outstanding issues.

After a frank but constructive discussion, and taking into account the views expressed on 3 February by the First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, the two co-chairs agreed to:

  • reiterate their full commitment to the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement, and to the proper implementation of the Protocol – protecting the gains of the peace process, maintaining stability, avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland and impacting as little as possible on the everyday life of communities in both Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • spare no effort to implement solutions mutually agreed on 17 December, as they form a foundation for our cooperation
  • intensify the work of the Specialised Committee on the Protocol in order to address all outstanding issues, with the shared objective to find workable solutions on the ground
  • underpin this work by further joint engagement by the UK and the EU with business groups and civic society in Northern Ireland
  • convene the Joint Committee no later than 24 February to provide the necessary political steer and approval to this work in the spirit of collaboration, responsibility and pragmatism
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Published 11 February 2021

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