In October 2017, the Joint Ministerial Committee (European Negotiations) [JMC (EN)], attended by ministers responsible for EU exit preparations in the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments, agreed upon the following principles to guide the work to create common framework.  Due to the absence of a functioning Executive in Northern Ireland, senior officials in the Northern Ireland Civil Service rather than ministers attended the JMC (EN) in October 2017. However, on 16 June 2020, the First Minister announced in the Assembly that the principles set out below had been endorsed the previous day at the meeting of the Executive. 


1  Common frameworks will be established  where they are necessary in order to:
  • enable the functioning of the UK internal market, while acknowledging policy divergence;
  • ensure compliance with international obligations;
  • ensure the UK can negotiate, enter into and implement new trade agreements and   international treaties;
  • enable the management of common resources;
  • administer and provide access to justice in cases with a crossborder element;
  • safeguard  the security of the UK.

Frameworks will respect the   devolution settlements and the democratic accountability of the devolved   legislatures, and will therefore:

  • be based on established conventions and practices, including that the competence of the devolved institutions will not normally be adjusted without their consent;
  • maintain, as a minimum, equivalent flexibility for tailoring policies to the specific needs of each territory, as is afforded by current EU rules;
  • lead   to a significant increase in decision-making powers for the devolved   administrations.

Frameworks will ensure recognition of   the economic and social linkages between Northern Ireland and Ireland and   that Northern Ireland will be the only part of the UK which shares a land   frontier with the EU. They will also adhere to the Belfast Agreement.




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