Commentary

V17.104 The Revised Protocol on Northern Ireland

Part V17 Customs duties

V17.104 The Revised Protocol on Northern Ireland

V17.104 The Revised Protocol on Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Revised Protocol1 ('the Protocol') took effect from 1 January 2021. The Protocol provides a practical solution to ensure that a hard border with Ireland can be avoided whilst ensuring the UK, including Northern Ireland, leaves the EU as a whole. The UK Government has devised special provisions which apply only in Northern Ireland while the Protocol is in force.

The Protocol is not codified as a permanent solution: it is designed to address a particular set of problems in a way that upholds the Northern Ireland Peace Agreement (the Good Friday) Agreement2). As it is based on the consent of the people of Northern Ireland, hence the elected institutions in Northern Ireland will decide what happens to the Protocol's alignment provisions in a consent vote that can take place every four years, with the first vote taking place in 2024. However, for as long as they are in force, the UK has committed to give effect to them in a practical manner that minimises the impact on individuals and businesses. The UK Government's approach to the Protocol was set out in the 20 May Command Paper 'The UK's approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol'3.

The UK Government has published specific guidance outlining how VAT processes will operate between Great Britain and Northern Ireland on goods sold by VAT-registered businesses as well as guidance

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