Rishi Sunak has laid out a wide array of planned changes and reforms, covering trade, VAT regulation and the role of Stormont in EU laws applying to Northern Ireland.
At the core of the deal is the creation of a new system for the flow of goods.
Anything destined for Northern Ireland will travel there as part of a green lane with significantly fewer checks. Anything that could cross the border and enter the EU’s single market will travel through a separate, red lane.
Mr Sunak said the changes to the protocol will scale back the number of certificates required for traders moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland with customs paperwork removed too for people sending parcels or buying goods online.
He indicated changes to the movement of food too, claiming anything made to UK rules will now be clear to be “sent to and sold” in NI. That includes sausages, one of the foodstuffs hit by protocol changes.
The PM said: “If food is available on supermarket shelves in Great Britain, then it will be available on supermarket shelves in Northern Ireland.”
Under the deal, the legal text of the protocol has also been amended on VAT. Under current arrangements, EU VAT and excise rules for goods generally apply in Northern Ireland.
Mr Sunak said that would now change with the legal text of the protocol amended to allow the UK Government to “make critical VAT and excise changes for the whole of the UK”.
Alcohol duty was mentioned with Mr Sunak suggesting the cost of a pint in the pub could be cut for Northern Irish drinkers.