Press release

Joint statement by the UK Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Gove and European Commission Vice-President Šefčovič: 11 February 2021

Statement following a meeting in London between the UK Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove and European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič.

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
Published 11 February 2021