What new Brexit deal means for you – from sending packages to what food you can buy in supermarkets

A sign from Unionists Against Northern Ireland Protocol hangs from a lamp post close to Larne Port, Northern Ireland, Monday, Feb. 27, 2023. It is expected later Monday that the UK government and EU will agree a new Northern Ireland Brexit deal. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

RISHI Sunak has today signed a “breakthrough” Brexit deal making sweeping changes in Northern Ireland.

The so-called Windsor Framework will significantly slash trade red tape between Britain and the province that has been frustrating firms.

The UK and EU confirmed a new Northern Ireland protocol deal

And the PM said Stormont will get new powers to block any fresh EU laws it does not like.

So, what does it mean for you? We take a look at the details.


Currently any goods passing from Great Britain (GB) to Northern Ireland (NI) face frustrating trade checks even though they are part of the same United Kingdom.

This is because the province remained inside the EU Single Market to safeguard the Good Friday Agreement by allowing frictionless crossings on the Irish mainland instead.

It effectively meant there was a form of trade border down the Irish sea – which disrupted goods going across it, and infuriated Northern Ireland as they said they were cut off from the rest of the country.

But a new green lane will mean any items moving from GB to NI that is not going to the Irish Republic will now face zero red tape checks – a huge win.

Items previously banned from moving from GB to NI – like sausages – will now be able to pass freely, leaving firms breathing a sigh of relief.

“If food is available on supermarket shelves in Great Britain, it will be available on supermarket shelves in Northern Ireland,” the PM insisted today.

And in good news for the British people, the deal means that people sending parcels from GB to NI can now be sent without burdensome customs costs.

Goods that are destined for the Irish Republic and EU will go through a separate red lane. 


Changes to VAT taxes and duties made by Westminster will now apply in Northern Ireland too – another big win for Rishi.

It means the province will benefit from Britain’s zero rates of VAT to energy saving materials like solar panels, which previously did not apply.

And crucially Mr Sunak’s alcohol duty reforms to cut pint prices will also be followed by Northern Ireland – cheers to that!


Northern Ireland will remain in the EU Single Market to keep issues on the Northern Irish border in check.

But it will now get a say on any Brussels law it does not like – returning some say to Northern Irish politicians.

Both sides shake on the deal earlier today

A “Stormont Brake” will give politicians a vote on rules, and if they oppose the changes the UK government will get a veto.

This “petition of concern mechanism” will the need the support of 30 members from at least two parties.

And crucially, it will require the DUP to return back to government at the Northern Ireland Assembly or they will have no say.

They walked out of the power sharing deal in fury at the protocol problems last year. 


Pets will be able to move freely from NI to GB without having to complete arduous documentation under the new deal.

Forking out for expensive treatments for rabies and other diseases was causing a nightmare for animal owners.

The DUP say they will study the text first before deciding whether to back it