Joint statement by European Commission Executive Vice-President Šefčovič and UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron

The European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) today held a meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) Partnership Council, welcoming their close cooperation at a time of threats and challenges to European peace.

The Joint Committee took note of the state of play of the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement since the last meeting and the work ahead, focussing on citizens' rights and the Windsor Framework.

On citizens' rights, both Parties reiterated their commitment to ensure the full implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, as this continues to be a key shared priority. In that spirit, the EU and the UK welcomed the cooperation until now and agreed that their joint work should intensify further with a view to finding solutions to outstanding issues, with the aim to ensure that all beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement can fully enjoy their rights.   

The Joint Committee also addressed the Windsor Framework. The co-chairs welcomed the restoration of the political institutions in Northern Ireland in February 2024. The EU and the UK noted the progress made in the implementation of the Windsor Framework, which has already delivered significant benefits for people and businesses in Northern Ireland, across many areas.

They also discussed a number of outstanding challenges and upcoming milestones, and agreed that intensive work should continue with renewed efforts and commitment to ensure the full implementation of all the elements of the Windsor Framework in a faithful and timely way.

The Joint Committee adopted decisions on implementation of the Windsor Framework, including to allow businesses in Northern Ireland to benefit from UK tariff rate quotas for specific agri-food products, whilst protecting the EU Single Market.

The Partnership Council took stock of progress in implementing the TCA since the last meeting, including the association of the UK to Horizon Europe and Copernicus and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on financial services regulatory cooperation. The co-chairs welcomed the intensive activity of the joint bodies established under the TCA which resulted in more than 25 formal meetings last year.

On climate and energy, they exchanged on cooperation on new technologies to facilitate the green transition. The co-chairs committed to work towards a working group on security of supply and a roadmap to oversee work on efficient electricity trading arrangements envisaged by the TCA.

In the area of trade and level playing field they welcomed the upcoming negotiations on the competition cooperation agreement and called for a regular exchange of information on market surveillance of non-food products. They also discussed the UK “Border Target Operating Model”.

On health security, the co-chairs called for strengthened cooperation between the European Centre for Disease Control and the UK Health Security Agency and invited them to continue work towards a joint action plan.

The Partnership Council also discussed recent UK measures in the area of fisheries and the EU raised access to waters post-2026.

They noted progress over the past year in the area of security, including work on counter-terrorism and cyber. They discussed their commitments in respect of law enforcement and judicial cooperation under the TCA. The co-chairs agreed to progress technical work to allow for automated searching of vehicle registration data.

The co-chairs agreed that the joint bodies under the TCA should work at pace to take forward the implementation priorities identified today. They reaffirmed their commitment to fully exploiting the potential the TCA has to offer.